New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday took a dig at the judiciary for its observations on CBI.

"By calling CBI a parrot in cage, then a Central Administrative Bench in Bangalore calling the IB a chicken... Now I have a question to the people in general. Are we not belittling our institutions? That's it,” the Congress leader said.

"I want you to respond. I will request you to try and get access to all those who are calling our institutions chicken or parrot. You should take reaction from them also," Singh added.

Singh's remarks came in the backdrop of the recent stinging criticism of the CBI by the Apex Court. On Wednesday, the Apex Court had examined a nine-page affidavit filed by CBI Director Ranjit Sinha alleging that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, officials of PMO and Coal Ministry vetted the investigating agency’s status report on coal scam probe. Expressing concern over the Centre’s interference into CBI probe, the Apex Court had said, “CBI has become a caged parrot speaking in master’s voice.”

Singh later added, "If the Supreme Court feels the heart of the Coalgate report was changed by the law minister, then it should pass a judicial order. Observations do not fix responsibility...”

“Probe report is not a progress report to be shared with the government and its officials. The heart of the report was changed on the suggestions of government officials,” the SC had observed.

Besides, he asked, "Why doesn’t the court order filing of the charges against former law minister Ashwani Kumar and send him to jail? The court should also specify legal sections under which the minister should be booked and sent to prison."

"Nobody can be held guilty on the basis of observations. ...Ashwani Kumar is a lawyer and he knows his job,” he said.

"The PM had sought auction. Since majority of coal blocks are in states ruled by non-Congress governments, the Chief Ministers put up stiff resistance. And if Ashwani Kumar had to resign, it was the PM’s prerogative. He was not guilty,” he said.

Defending Pawan Kumar Bansal who was sacked as the Railway Minister, he said, "There’s no evidence that Bansal took bribe. His nephew is charged and is in jail. If his companies have made profit, it’s for the income tax and revenue intelligence departments to hold investigations. The media cannot hold a trial." Bansal resigned on Friday following the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh for fixing promotion in Railway Board.

BJP launches attack on Digvijay

Meanwhile, the BJP lost no time in launching an attack on the Congress leader for "blaming the highest judiciary". Holding that it is the duty of the SC to ensure a fair investigation in a "massive case of corruption", BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said, "Instead of blaming the highest judiciary, it is important for Digvijay Singh to learn and understand as to why there are a series of scams one after another in this government and can we know that there will be no scam again in the coming months.”

(JPN/Agencies)

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