MR. SPEAKER : The House will now take up Zero Hour.
SHRI KIRIT SOMAIYA (MUMBAI NORTH EAST): Sir, I have given my privilege motion.
MR. SPEAKER : You have given a privilege motion. It is under my consideration. You cannot raise it now. It is under my consideration.
SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI (RAIGANJ) : I would like to draw the attention of the House and through you of the hon. Prime Minister who is accountable to Parliament for the functioning of Central Bureau of Investigation, the prime investigation agency of our country.
SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI : Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the last one and a half years, the crime rate in the capital, Delhi, has gone up beyond all proportions. ... (Interruptions) I am on a very important matter related to a murder case. This is the murder case of Priyadarshini Mattoo.
When the matter was brought before the Additional Sessions Judge and after the conclusive judgement was passed, it was found that the key witness of the case was not produced in the Court in time or it was not reported at all. The CBI's lapses have been strongly criticized by the Additional Sessions Judge J.P. Taneja and I quote:
"The witness (Prasad) is the most important witness of the crime. The agency ought to have produced him ... to arrive at a correct conclusion of the case."
The CBI told the Court that Prasad was not examined because "the witness was not in his native village. Later on, it was revealed that the witness himself said, `I was very much in the village. I was not hiding anywhere and I was never interrogated.' Later on, the CBI Chief, Shri Raghavan said and I quote:
"I have to take appropriate action like initiating disciplinary action where warranted, if I find that there are loose ends which had not been tied up or there have been some mistakes and if there is a provision to reopen the investigation."
This exposes and reveals how the crime investigation agency is functioning. In the absence of key witnesses, the Judiciary felt very strongly and questioned the functioning of the CBI in this matter. Therefore, it is most appropriate that when the CBI Chief has personally admitted this lapse, he should not be allowed to hold this office any more. The Prime Minister who is in charge of the CBI is accountable to the House, after this matter has been exposed by the Judiciary, to justify these lapses which had been pointed out by the Judiciary.
I think, the House entirely agrees that the CBI should be strengthened in a different aspect because the CBI Chief has admitted that lapses were there and loose ends were there. If the CBI functions in this manner, I do not know what will be the fate of other crime investigations. Therefore, I strongly make a demand to all the Ministers in the Council of Ministers and through them to the hon. Prime Minister himself - who is dealing with the CBI - to reply in the House at an appropriate time, whenever he feels it convenient and come to a decision.
The CBI Chief should immediately step down from his Office because he has admitted his lapses. After the indictment by the Judiciary of the CBI and when the key witness has come out with an open statement, which has been published in no less a leading newspaper than The Indian Express with all the details, it is appropriate that the Prime Minister responds to it whenever it is convenient to him and the CBI Chief should step down immediately. ... (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Rupchand Pal, are you associating yourself?
SHRI RUPCHAND PAL (HOOGLY): I am associating with what Shri Dasmunsi has said and demand that the Prime Minister should come out with a statement in relation to the case of Priyadarshini Mattoo where the CBI has miserably failed. They have not only failed but they are also hand in glove with the offenders. ... (Interruptions)
MR. SPEAKER: Shri Suresh Kurup, are you associating yourself with him?
SHRI SURESH KURUP (KOTTAYAM): Sir, I am on an entirely different matter.
MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat now.
If the House agrees the hon. Minister wants to move a motion regarding the constitution of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit. It is already listed in the List of Business at item No.8. If the House agrees, we can take it up.