Against the backdrop of the Supreme Court restraining the CBI from speaking to the government on its ongoing investigations into the coal scam, the law ministry feels that the probe agency can’t go about its preliminary enquiry with such communication.
“It is not possible for the CBI not to talk to the government during the course of its investigation at the stage of preliminary enquiry,” said a highly-placed ministry source, taking the apex court position head-on.
The source said that there are three stages – the first is the preliminary enquiry stage and that necessarily involves dialogue with the government otherwise the investigating agency can’t proceed with its probe. The second stage involves investigation and the last stage is filing of the charge sheet.
Taking a dim view of some courts continuing monitoring of cases even after the filing of charge sheets, the source said: “Once the charge sheets are filed, no one can supervise the matter.”
Urging that every stake holder in the system should observe the “Lakshman Rekha”, the source said it too can speak a lot as it is privy to much more information but such a course would be bad for the system.
The ministry source dismissed a Central Information Commission (CIC) order treating political parties as par with public authorities, saying the two entities were different and there was a court judgment supporting this position.
However, this “does not mean that they (political parties) should not be transparent in their functioning”, added the source.
The source did not take a favourable view of the recent apex court judgment asking the Election Commission to frame guidelines to restrain political parties from promising freebies in their election manifestos.
“Election manifesto is a manifesto of political parties and there could be no impediments in what parties want to say in it,” the source said.