Your English daily today would’ve told you everything which was wrong with the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) arrests of four key Trinamool Congress (TMC) ministers and members on Monday.
- They have told you that the permission of assembly Speaker was necessary to arrest the “honourables” Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee. And that it were unconstitutional arrests.
- They have told you that it was nothing but vendetta politics by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was steamrolled by Trinamool Congress in the recent assembly elections and which is now using its central agencies to get even with Mamata Banerjee, in her third successive term.
- They have told you that what better proof of vendetta is needed when two of BJP’s key functionaries in the state politics, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, have not similarly been arrested by the CBI.
So here it is folks:
- The Kolkata High Court has ruled that the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is the competent authority to sanction the prosecution of the “Four” with the TMC. And he did so by invoking his powers under Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution. And that West Bengal speaker Biman Banerjee could keep screaming into cameras that these arrests were “illegal” and the Lutyens Media could keep beating its chest at this “murder of democracy” and keep living in their echo-chambers hereafter.
- BJP has nothing to do with CBI being hot on heels of accused in the Narada bribery case. It was the Supreme Court which had passed various orders for investigation and prosecution of cases against the MPs and MLAs monitored by the High Court. And that this alone led to the matter being expedited and the cases under Prevention of Corruption Act being filed.
- As for Suvendu and Mukul not being arrested while others have been, the key is “not yet.” When has CBI said that they stand cleared of charges? Are these hopeless suggesting that if three of the five accused in a case are arrested, they ought to be released till the time all accused are caught?
(And by the way Biman Da, what did the honourable speaker of State assembly do for two years while the case was pending against Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy? Did he give permission to have the two picked up by agencies if and whenever they desired so?)
The convenient memory of Lutyens Media won’t question Mamata Banerjee on her laying siege of CBI officials, daring them to “arrest her too”, while it was she only, who only weeks back, was begging CBI to investigate the “Sitalkuchi” killings during polls? Justice-carriers one day and caged parrot the other day?
They won’t denigrate the West Bengal chief minister that by laying siege of CBI office for 6-8 hours, while her supporters and onlookers surged in thousands around, she was making a mockery of “lockdown” which she had invoked only 24 hours ago. And that Bengal, in terms of highest daily cases in Covid-19 after Karnataka, and number of testing (700 per day) which is pathetic, is putting to risk those very lives which have so overwhelmingly voted for her only a fortnight ago.
Isn’t it a complete breakdown of law and order when police is a mute spectator while surging crowd become a threat to CBI officials and no less to the Central Armed Police Force personnel? And even the residence of the Governor is under siege?
Don’t visuals corobrate the sordid, grim facts that tens of thousand might have been subject to violence for siding with BJP in the post-poll reality of Bengal?
And what more breakdown of Constitutional norms have to be cited when the chief minister and law minister of state, along with many other ministers, and thousands of their supporters, intimidate investigating agencies, a complete violation of the Constitutional oath they take to uphold the “integrity and sovereignty of India.”
How is it adherence to the spelt-out norms of federalism where States can’t be a law unto themselves, unhindered by rules and norms, which in crude terms is “fascism” of the ruling and powerful?
Lutyens Media has overlooked all these telltale signs. They couldn’t care less to what happens to you and me, forget the much-abused “upholding Constitution” and “cherishing federalism.”
Most shocking is the edit in Times of India which states and I quote: “The years-long Narada case really could’ve waited until Bengal’s Covid situation was less fraught.”
Could anything be a more myopic commentary?