‘With no immediate family members alive to pursue matter, the five CBI officials have moved on professionally’.

 

New Delhi: The death of four family members of the Bansal family, all of whom committed suicide in East Delhi in 2016, alleging torture in the hands of officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is now a closed chapter.
With no immediate family members alive to pursue the matter and distant members scared to take any step, all the five CBI officials—who were named by the additional secretary-rank officer in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs Bal Kishan Bansal, who along with his son committed suicide in September 2016 after his wife and daughter hanged themselves to death in their East Delhi’s Madhu Vihar area on 19 July 2016 three days after Bansal was arrested on an alleged bribery charge—have moved on professionally.
In October 2016, the CBI, while giving a clean chit to the officers who were named in the 7-page suicide note, submitted a 90-page report to the Delhi police. This was after the Delhi police had asked the CBI to submit a detailed account of the investigations it had carried out in the bribery case.
In his suicide note, both Bansal (60) and his son Yogesh (31) had blamed the CBI directly for their death and accused senior officials of abusing and torturing his wife, Satyabala, 57, and daughter Neha, 27. The CBI had arrested B.K. Bansal on 16 July 2016, while he was allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 9 lakh from an executive of a pharmaceutical company. The CBI officer named in the suicide note included a Deputy Inspector General Level officer Sanjeev Gautam, who was from the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) 1995 batch. The suicide note had stated: “I am committing suicide because of CBI. On intervening night of 18 July and 19 July, CBI female officers Rekha Sangwan (Deputy SP) and Amrita Kaur (SP) severely tortured my wife and daughter, which they shared with neighbours and friends. They slapped and beat my wife and daughter, and abused them.” Apart from these three, the other officials named in the report were Harnam Singh (IO) and another unnamed constable.
In January 2017, the CBI submitted its internal probe report into the suicides to the National Human Rights Commission. The CBI probe, carried out by a joint director-rank officer, too, found that its officials had done no wrong which led to the entire family of four members ending their lives.
On 11 November 2016, the Supreme Court while hearing a PIL filed by former IAS officer E.A. Sarma, issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the CBI. Till April 2017, it was heard by the Supreme Court 11 times. The lawyer representing the case told The Sunday Guardian that since then, it is yet to come for hearing, although there may be a request filed for an urgent hearing.
According to a distant relative of the Bansals, who were originally from Hisar, Haryana, the flat in which the four committed suicide in Neelkanth apartment, Indraprastha Extension, is locked since then. “When we wanted to carry out a religious ritual in the house, it took us more than a year to get permission from Delhi police. The house is always locked. The whole incident was a trauma that will never leave us. Even if he had taken a bribe, does that justify his death, and the death of the three others?” Judging by events, it seems evident that the case of the Bansal suicides is now closed. “The CBI officials were only doing their duty. While it is regrettable that the family took such an extreme step, this fact needs to be borne in mind,” a senior official said, adding that the internal probe into the incident was “comprehensive” and came up with the “definitive conclusion that the officials concerned were not culpable for the unfortunate development” that followed their visit to the Bansal home.