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Jaitley accuses PM of interfering in CBI functioning

March 21, 2013 20:17 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of "blatantly interfering" in CBI's functioning and "crippling" it from carrying on its routine investigations for "stopping" CBI searches at the residence of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M K Stalin's residence in Chennai.

"Merely because it has a political fallout, it is improper for any prime minister or a finance minister to so blatantly interfere in the functioning of CBI and cripple it from carrying on its routine investigations," Jaitley said.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said if CBI was carrying out its search in the normal course of investigation, then it should have been allowed to carry out the exercise at Stalin's residence.

"If this was a search in the normal course of CBI investigation, CBI is entitled to carry out that search. What business does the government have or the political regime have to interfere in CBI and start stopping that search"? he said.

Jaitley said the prime minister or the finance minister "cannot interfere" in the functioning of CBI and have a "search stopped".

He said CBI carries out searches on many people but the prime minister has never condemned them.

Hitting out at the prime minister and the finance minister for condemning the search, Jaitley said "they can't condemn a search because it is the job of CBI in connection with their investigation to search premises."

He said if the government was not in the know of a CBI search in Chennai, then the government had no power to stop it and if it was in the know of the search, "then the government will have to answer" the action as it is initiated two days after DMK withdrew support to United Progressive Alliance.

Jaitley said the prime minister or the finance minister has no right to interfere in the functioning of CBI.

"No prime minister or Finance minister has any powers to interfere in CBI's functioning," he said.

Jaitley said since CBI was an independent body, it should have been allowed to carry out their routine investigations of their own and not interfere merely because of a "political fallout" of their action.

"If that search was carried out in normal course, then it should have been continued. To interfere in that search and the prime minister condemning it means that there is interference in the functioning of CBI," he said.

The BJP leader also said there was no reason for the prime minister or the finance minister to say that the CBI search on DMK leader's premises was unfortunate.

Singh earlier in the day distanced the government from the CBI raid saying it had "no role" in the development and was "upset" over it.

"We are all upset at these events. The government had no role in this that I am sure of. We will find out the details. This should not have...(happened). The timing of the raid is most unfortunate," Singh told reporters.

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