Agency unlikely to move beyond questioning of a few leaders in this case.


New Delhi: The Calcutta High Court’s decision to hand over the cases of murder and crimes against women in connection with the alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is unlikely to provide justice to the victims if the past conduct of the CBI, in cases related to West Bengal, are to go by.

The CBI, for years now, has been investigating the Saradha chit fund scam, Narada scam, Rose valley chit fund scam, and the two recent cases—coal and cow smuggling scam. In all these cases, the CBI has failed to reach the actual perpetrators of the crime despite spending months and years on investigating them. The biggest “failure” of the agency has been its inability to bring to justice the politicians and businessmen who were involved in the Saradha scam where lakhs of poor people were cheated of their life’s savings. The agency has been investigating this case since 2014 and yet, it has failed to achieve anything substantial in the cases despite the case being handed over to the agency by the Supreme Court. In all these cases, political leaders from one party, Trinamool Congress, have allegedly played a prominent role, but none of them have been convicted as of today. The CBI’s inefficiency in taking these cases to their logical conclusion can be attributed more to the conduct of its top officials, than anything else, who rather than going by the rules and regulations, look at ways to appease their political bosses whoever is in power. The agency officials have been accused of shying away from taking legal action against politicians under the fear that the politician might hurt them professionally if he or she later comes to power.

In the most recent case of cow smuggling, which involves TMC leader Vinay Mishra, the agency was not even sure where Mishra had fled to. An investigation done by this newspaper revealed that Mishra was in Vanuatu. The investigation done by this newspaper further revealed that the agency has not even written to the Vanuatuan authorities apprising them of the criminal charges Mishra was facing.

Just like in these cases, in the post-poll violence case too, prominent leaders of TMC have been named by a report that was prepared by the National Human Rights Commission. The CBI, however, is unlikely to move beyond the initial questioning of a few leaders, as it has done in other West Bengal related cases, in this case too.