Urging the top investigative agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to launch an investigation into the controversial Rafale deal, eminent Lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Friday said that the CBI is “legally bound” to start an investigation into the deal.
Referring to the separate observation given by the SC judge K M Joseph in Rafale review petition case, Bhushan pointed out that though SC dismissed the petition filed by him, “it is CBI’s legal duty to start an investigation”.
In his opinion, Justice Joseph held that the judgment would “not stand in the way” of the CBI if it wanted to register an FIR on the basis of the complaint raised by the petitioners, subject to the government granting sanction for the investigation under section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Bhushan asserted that he, along with the former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha and former editor of The Indian Express Arun Shourie did not seek scraping of the deal, but an investigation under the SC watch.
Saying that the judgement does not deal with their prayer, Bhushan said, “It is their (CBI) legal duty to conduct an investigation into the deal”. Bhushan appealed CBI to seek permission from the government to launch an investigation.
Former Union Minister Arun Shourie also addressed the conference and termed the verdict pronounced by the apex court as an example of “self-imposed restrictions”.
Alleging that the anti-corruption clause was changed in order to cover up misdeed of the government and to benefit Anil Ambani, Shourie said SC verdict has completely misrepresented his position. He appealed to people to keep a watch on the top investigative agency also.