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Govt not influencing CBI in Babri mosque demolition case: PM
August 06, 2003 05:56 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday night rejected the opposition charge that the Central government had influenced the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
"Neither I, or my office, ever interfered" in the working of the CBI, he asserted in the Lok Sabha.
On Monday, he had made his government's position clear in a similar discussion in the Rajya Sabha.
"Even though cases are pending against some of my own distinguished colleagues, my government has neither withdrawn those cases nor taken any steps to interfere with the functioning of the CBI," Vajpayee said replying to a five-hour long debate on the working of investigating agencies, particularly the CBI.
The prime minister's assertion came in the wake of opposition charges that the CBI was being 'misused; by the government to save its leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case by dropping the conspiracy charge under section 120 (B) of the IPC against the accused - Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and seven others.
Observing that there had been a protracted litigation, Vajpayee said, "The CBI has full authority to take any decision in these matters."
He reminded the members that ever since the Supreme Court judgment in the Vineet Narain case, it was a committee headed by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner who appointed the CBI director, not the Government.
Government's interface with the CBI was limited only to providing budgetary support and exercising administrative superintendence, the prime minister said.
Amid heated exchanges with the opposition, particularly Priyaranjan Dasmunshi and Satyavrata Chaturvedi (Congress) and CPI-M leader Somnath Chatterjee, Law Minister Arun Jaitley dismissed the opposition charge of tapes of speeches made on the day of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 being 'doctored'.
"No speech had been given by Advani on December 6," he said.