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Ayodhya: Govt says not pressuring CBI

December 23, 2004 16:01 IST

The government on Thursday dismissed the opposition charge that it was pressuring the Central Bureau of Investigation to reopen the Babri Masjid demolition case against Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani.

It categorically told the Lok Sabha that seeking information about the legal position of any case was its 'legitimate right'.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee said the government was not interfering with the functioning of the CBI.

He was responding to BJP leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statement that Prime Minister's Office should not have written any letter to personnel secretary with regard to the case.

The letter, Mukherjee said, was written by the PMO to ascertain the legal position on two revision petitions filed by witnesses in the case.

Observing that it would be wrong to impute political motives to the correspondence, Mukherjee said no direction had been given by PMO to the CBI with regard to the case.

Dissatisfied with Mukherjee's contention, members of the BJP and its allies walked out of the House. They, however, returned after a few minutes.

When the issue was again raised during Zero Hour, Vajpayee said the 'peculiar' letter from the PMO amounted to pressuring the CBI.

He maintained that the PMO should not have dispatched such a letter.

BJP deputy leader V K Malhotra alleged that only Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could have asked the official to write the letter.


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