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Seeing No Evil

"Ask the CBI," said the Prime Minister in the Lok Sabha on March 11 when asked whether his personal staff had been interrogated in connection with the scandal. Outlook did. This was the result:

Seeing No Evil
Outlook: Has the Prime Minister or his staff been questioned in connection with the statement made by S.K. Jain that he paid him over Rs 3.5 crore?

CBI: We have no information.

Outlook: Have the allegations against the Prime Minister been investigated following the same procedure as that for the other accused?

CBI: We don't know.

Outlook: The CBI doesn't know?

CBI: We are not supposed to know everything. You have asked for a clarification and the concerned officers will be contacted,after which we will let you know. Anyway, the investigating officers are not available at the moment.

THESE are excerpts from a conversation with S.M. Khan, official spokesman for the CBI. One of the "concerned officers "who was "not available", was contacted immediately at the conclusion of this conversation by Outlook . M.P. Singh, SP, CBI, when asked the same questions, said that "the only person authorised to speak on behalf of the CBI is Khan. You get in touch with him and he will get in touch with me!" Needless to add, the CBI did not get back with any answers despite repeated reminders.

There's more. Margaret Alva, under whose ministry the CBI functions, when asked the same questions protested: "How can I say anything. In the hawala case, the CBI reports directly to the Supreme Court." And added: "How is the Prime Minister expected to know whether his staff have been questioned or whether his visitors list has been examined?"

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