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Posted at: Feb 4, 2015, 9:51 PM; last updated: Feb 4, 2015, 9:51 PM (IST)

In dock for interfering with CBI, Home Secretary resigns

In dock for interfering with CBI, Home Secretary resigns
Anil Goswami.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4

Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami resigned on Wednesday night from his high-profile post after the Central government told him in clear terms that he would be sacked for his alleged role in interfering with the working of the CBI and attempting to stall the arrest of an accused.

Goswami exited the Home Ministry late in the night after putting in his papers. Goswami’s fixed two-year tenure was slated to end in June 2015. He is a Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS officer of the 1977 batch.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on how the Home Secretary had allegedly tried to stall the arrest of a former Union minister, Matang Sinh, in the Saradha scam last Saturday.

The Home Secretary had allegedly called up two New Delhi-based senior officers of the CBI regarding the Matang Sinh case. The CBI is under the Prime Minister.

The Home Minister on Wednesday called Director of the CBI Anil Sinha and the Home Secretary to his office in North Block to hear both of them. The Home Secretary reportedly admitted before Rajnath Singh having made at least two calls. The exact reasons that he gave for having made the calls was not clear. 

Goswami had allegedly asked the two CBI officials to proceed with caution in connection with the arrest, sources said. The alleged interference is being viewed as an attempt to stall the arrest.

The decision was taken by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister as this amounted to crossing the ‘Lakshman rekha’ that officials maintain when dealing with such cases of crime. A 90-minute deliberation had preceded the decision, as dealing with the top bureaucracy needs tact and proper whetting of available facts.

On Tuesday night, Rajnath had briefly spoken over the phone to the Prime Minister and he looked into the matter in detail this morning.

Rajnath Singh, sources said, was clear that he would not shield the official even as he had brought out before the Prime Minister the versions of both Goswami and Sinha. Sources said Goswami had been called up by Sinh, which was not an aberration as being former minister he called up the Home Secretary. The aberration was when Goswami called up the CBI officers.  

Among the officialdom, Goswami's action was seen as ‘misdemeanour’ and an ‘interference’  in the affairs of the CBI, an autonomous investigation agency. This episode made his continuation as Home Secretary ‘untenable’, a senior functionary said. 

Rajnath Singh was aware of reports appearing in the media, alleging how a top Home Ministry official had tried to influence the CBI not to arrest Sinh while as he was being questioned in Kolkata.

This morning after Rajnath had finished meeting both Goswami and Sinha, the two officers met separately in Home Secretary Goswami's chamber.

Matang Sinh has been arrested for allegedly misappropriating Rs 28 crore of the Saradha group, which he allegedly took from Sudipta Sen, head of the chit-fund company. Sinh had sold one of his media outlets to Sen.

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