CBI today came under a scathing attack from a city court which directed it to return documents sought by the Delhi government seized during recent raids on the office of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwals principal secretary, saying the agency “cannot be clothed with divine powers” to flout its own rules.
“The CBI cannot retain the documents in the garb of the argument that investigation is in progress without whispering the fact in what manner they are related to the present case (against principal secretary Rajendra Kumar).
“The acceptance of vague reasons like investigation is still in progress implies that CBI is recognised with unbridled power to investigate even in violation of the relevant laws and regulations.
“The seizure of the present documents in question is in utter violation to the clause 14.19 of the CBI manual. Needless to say, clauses of CBI manual are binding upon the CBI,” Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain said.
Directing the agency to return the documents as sought by the Delhi government, he said “any recognition of absolute immunity and unlimited powers will tantamount to recognition of divine power which no authority on earth can enjoy. The CBI cannot be clothed with divine powers.”
The court said that CBI manual is binding upon the agency and in the garb of argument that investigation is in progress, it cannot seize documents which are not related to the case.
The judge said if the CBI is not able to disclose the reason why they want to retain these documents, then they have no right to keep them.
“CBI utterly failed to disclose the reasons of retention of the documents in its reply as well as during the arguments before the court. CBI was unable to show any relation of these seized documents with present investigation,” the court said.
The court in its 36-page order said proceedings intitiated by CBI against public servants appear to be in “haste” as no preliminary inquiry was carried out.
“In this scenario, when the public servant while discharging his official duty misuses power and when there is no direct allegation of pecuniary advantage, then some sort of preliminary inquiry is required. However in present case, the FIR is registered on oral information, thus proceedings initiated by CBI appears to be in haste,” it said.
( Source – PTI )