Legal eagles condemn Vahanvati, Raval

UPA's shame, blogs Arun Jaitley


Pankaj Kumar | May 1, 2013

The political fraternity is caught in a storm over former additional solicitor general Harin Raval's letter to attorney general G E vahanvati, which exposed the UPA government's lies on interference in the CBI's handling of the Coalgate case. Raval had accused vahanvati of interfering in the probe. Eminent lawyers and judges have their own take on the issue but all agree that the two foremost law officers of the country have lied to the supreme court while their duty was to uphold the constitution.

Raval and Vahanvati had both testified before supreme court that the status report of the CBI investigation of irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks were not shown to the government.

However, the director of CBI, Ranjit Sinha, struck down the law officers' version saying that the report had been vetted by the law minister and two joint secretaries of PMO and coal ministry. Sinha had said that the government had inisisted on being given the report before it was submitted on March 8. Now, it is not just the apex court which has condemned the curtailing of the autonomy of the investigating agency. 

Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and a lawyer himself, wrote on his blog, "The UPA Government has denigrated the institution of the law officers. It is this failing institution that has today embarrassed the UPA government".

Senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhusan, however, believes that the two senior-most law officials of the country have shamed their offices at the behest of their political masters."There is no doubt that he (Vahanvati) is lying and he should be taken apart," Bhushan said.

Justice (retired) R S sodhi, former judge of the delhi high court, minced no words, saying, "These constitutional authorities  are have told a blatant lie. This can't be condoned. Their behavior is unacceptable".

"The attorney general  has helped the accused subvert the investigation of the CBI in most of the politically sensitive cases.He should be the first man to be taken into custody for interrogation. Only then can the truth be out," supreme court lawyer Abani Sahu, amicus curae in the sensitive Jain hawala case, said.

Meenakshi Lekhi, lawyer and BJP spokesperson, said, "It is a case of illegality and impropriety.It is against the principle of natural justice."




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