Law fraternity wants Pul’s notes probed

ITANAGAR, Feb 16: India’s legal fraternity on Wednesday demanded a probe by a central agency into the allegations by former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Late Kalikho Pul’s explosive notes, where he named four top law officials, who sought huge bribes from him.
According to a report by web portal, The Quint, almost all top lawyers and a few retired judges from the higher judiciary admitted that it was time that the judiciary subjected itself to greater transparency and accountability in the face of regular allegations of corruption. For legal reasons, The Quint did not disclose the names of the four top law officials named in Pul’s notes.
Finding a link between Pul’s suicide and the Birla-Sahara diary judgment of January this year, Swaraj India National President and noted psephologist Yogendra Yadav hinted at hidden hand behind the manner in which lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan’s petition seeking a probe into alleged payoffs to a high political functionary was not entertained by the Supreme Court.
Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan in a tweet on 15 February questioned why the case had not been “sent to CBI”.
Justice (retd) R S Sodhi, a former Delhi High Court judge, said: “The independence of the judiciary has been compromised. Accountability of the judiciary and its transparency must be ushered in without delay and the suicide of the former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister must be probed by the CBI.”
Nalin Kohli, BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court advocate told The Quint, “In any such sensational disclosure, the critical aspect relates to the evidentiary value of the allegations, without which they are merely accusations and speculations. Mere names in a diary or a paper or any other document cannot stand the scrutiny of law.”
This has been repeatedly affirmed by various courts over several decades. In the absence of indisputable evidence which will withstand the scrutiny of law, exercising restraint is a must. This is especially true while dealing with people in high offices, public life or institutions.
Former Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa said, “It was a bold and factual report. (Kalikho) Pul tried to expose corruption at high places. A very thorough and independent investigation by a central agency, preferably the CBI, should be immediately instituted. And most definitely, the judiciary must be made accountable and more transparent than what it now is.
According to Rajkhowa, he had demanded a CBI inquiry into Pul’s “unnatural death” in the “special reports” he sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and Vice-President Hamid Ansari. “But there was no response from these dignitaries to my pointed references to the scams in Arunachal Pradesh and my demand for a CBI probe into Pul’s death,” he said. In fact, Rajkhowa stated, “I was made a scapegoat and forced to resign.” (With permission from The Quint)



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