Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Center trying to get Shibu Soren off the hook

Sometimes, one is forced to believe that many despicable things can happen in the name of power, and that there is no honest politician, not even the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. One remembers how the Government undercut the move to block Quattrochi's money, how they tried to get Mayawati off the hook by getting the government's legal adviser to say that the case can be blocked (only to be blocked by the Supreme Court), and by keeping Mulayam on the hook by threatening to send the CBI after him. And now this; after Shibu Soren was convicted of involvement in the murder of his secretary, and sentenced, the Congress Government is actively trying to get him off the hook in the appeal. And unfortunately, since the appeal will have to be handled from the Government side, there is no saying if he can get off the hook. Refer this article, and see how the judge is having to get the government to present a good case:

The Delhi High Court on Monday slammed CBI for coming up with a sloppy rebuttal to former Union minister Shibu Soren's petition challenging his conviction for murdering his secretary Shashi Nath Jha.
The court pulled up CBI for not doing its 'home work' in a case which the investigating agency has touted as a major accomplishment and used to rebut the perception of its poor conviction record. In fact, the bench found evidence put up by CBI to defend its case against Soren so weak that it was forced to call it a 'fairy tale'.
The rebuke came during the final arguments on Soren's appeal in the Shashi Nath Jha murder case, with a bench comprising Justices R S Sodhi and H R Malhotra sternly telling CBI counsel R M Tiwari, "Don't give up your case like this. As a public prosecutor (PP), you fill the gap in the case."
It made the observation after Tiwari failed to answer a series of queries. "We are giving you a month's time," Sodhi said, "to read each and every line of the file and then argue the case." The case was adjourned till July 6. "No more fairy tale on the next date of hearing, we need hard evidence."
Since I have not heard more about this after this particular article, I don't think that it has been picked up. Shibu Soren was a good coalition partner, hardly making any waves politically. He was a disaster as a minister in terms of getting work done, but since he was a good partner, he deserves all the help.
There is an air of extreme cynicism regarding politicans in the country, and such steps do not help. It is very well possible that in the next hearing, the government side gives the same kind of reponse and Shibu Soren is let off for lack of evidence. In such a case, the judge will proclaim that the government did not do its job properly, there will be articles in the papers for some days, and then the affair will die down with the government having kept its head low. And once he is acquitted, he can re-join the cabinet as a free man.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 2:46 AM