Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought people’s support in his fight against corruption in his Independence Day address, giving a fillip to the investigative agencies which are already proactively chasing tainted netas and babus over the last few years.
The PM’s push for the “decisive” “fight” against corruption brought much enthusiasm in the probe agencies ranks and the expectation was that ecosystem judicial processes will be accordingly streamlined to ensure that the tainted don’t escape from the scrutiny of the law.
An officer in an investigative agency felt that long-pending changes in the Representation of People’s Act and other tightening of rules and laws might be in the offing given that, he observed, Modi detested people supporting convicted and jailed persons, hinting perhaps at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, whose party has again join hands with the JDU to return to power in the Bihar.
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The Supreme Court’s backing of ED’s power to probe prevention of money laundering case has already ridden the misgivings among investigators against the agency probing high profile cases against politicians and of corporates.
A list of corruption cases in which multi-agencies investigations are at crucial stages are National Herald case against Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, former union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in INX media and Chinese Visa cases, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s mining case, West Bengal ministers including Partha Chatterjee, are allegedly involved in teachers recruitment scam and coal scam, former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad and his son Tejaswi are involved in fodder and IRCTC cases respectively, former Shiv Sena ministers Anil Parab, Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik in money laundering cases, Delhi’s AAP minister Satendra Jain also in money laundering case, and Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar.
The Enforcement Directorate has already questioned Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul multiple times in the National Herald money laundering case on charges that the leaders indulged in irregularities in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd by Young Indian Ltd (YIL) which runs the newspaper of the party. Rahul Gandhi, however, refused to react on Modi’s twin jibe against corruption and dynastic rule during his public address at the Red Fort.
Newly-crowned Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav is also in the dock, having been chargesheeted along with his father Lalu Prasad and mother Rabri Devi – bother former chief ministers of the State, in the IRCTC case by the CBI. In the chargesheet filed in April of 2018, the CBI had alleged that when Lalu was railways minister in 2006, he had benefited Sujata Hotel Pvt Ltd by given the private firm two IRCTC hotels maintenance and operation contracts and got plots in prime areas of Patna at cheap prices in lieu of that corrupt practice.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, after his minister Satendra Jain was arrested by the ED, had publicly stated that his deputy Manish Sisodia will also be put behind the bars.