Leave It to the Courts: Jaitley on Malegaon Case

New Delhi
Leave It to the Courts: Jaitley on Malegaon Case

With Opposition alleging dilution of terror cases against right wing groups under Modi Government, Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said the matter should be left to the courts and if anything is wrong or improper, the judiciary will take a view on it.

He also hit back at Congress, accusing it of using investigation agencies when UPA was in power for "fabricating" chargesheets and said in each of these cases, courts discharged the accused even without a trial.

In an interaction with journalists organised by Indian Women's Press Corps, he also brushed aside the charge that BJP-ruled states were revising text books to ignore icons associated with opposition parties and said the allegation is made whenever the saffron party is power.

Asked about Congress' allegations on dropping of charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and others in Malegaon blasts, he said, "These are legal matters which are based on quality of evidence available.

"These are matters ultimately over which courts will have to take a view. The charge sheet will go to court. If anything is wrong or improper I am sure courts will take a view."

He, however, used the opportunity to hit back at the UPA and also took a dig at media, saying it was "overgenerous" when some of these chargesheets were filed by probe agencies during the Manmohan Singh government.

"The manner in which investigation agencies were used, some of them, the manner in which credibility of some of the agencies declined I think was a record low," the Finance Minister said.

As the then Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he had written to Singh about these cases and how chargesheets were fabricated.

"In each of the cases I referred to, each case without a single exception the courts did not even frame the charge. They discharged the accused even without a trial. The discharge took place not under NDA, but when UPA was in power, in some of them," he said.

Though he did not speak about these cases, Jaitley had targeted the then UPA government over criminal cases against Amit Shah, now BJP President, in alleged fake encounter probe. Shah later received a clean chit.

To a poser about text book revisions, he said, "I do not subscribe to that allegation at all. Every time a revision takes place, the charge is normally made.... When explanation comes, they present a contrary picture. Without examining it I will not get into details.".

 Strongly refuting charges that Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya was given a clean chit by NIA due to any kind of "pressure", Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, "On the contrary, false charges were filed against her and she was put behind the bars for eight long years."

Gadkari said, "false affidavits were filed in Ishrat Jahan encounter case and a section of media does not talk about this. An innocent person Sadhvi Pragya was kept behind bars for eight long years and all this was done for political vote bank. Why is the Congress not coming up with answers? Even David Coleman Headley said from America that Ishrat was a terrorist. Was Headley an RSS Swayamsevak? Nobody talks about that," he said at the India TV conclave "Samvaad".

Gadkari also accused the UPA government of deliberately filing false affidavits in Ishrat Jahan encounter case to nail Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. He, however, said that under the present government, police and judiciary were working without any bias.

"What did the then UPA Home Minister do? He filed false affidavits in Ishrat Jahan case. He fabricated false evidences in Samjhauta Express case. Under our government, police and judicial system is working without any bias. We have not tried to influence the system. Attempts were made to defame and malign pro-Hindutva organisations. In Ishrat case, false affidavits were filed to malign Narendra Modi and Amit Shah," he said.

After the change of government, all these things have been exposed he said, adding in Sadhvi Pragya's case, action is being taken on the basis of evidences available.

"One should be happy that justice is being done now," he said.

"The career of a senior police officer was ruined because of false charges in Ishrat Jehan case. False charges were made against Amit Shah. Should not the country debate such issues?," he asked.

When asked why PM Modi maintained silence on incidents like Dadri, Gadkari said that it’s not necessary for the PM to speak on each and every issue. He made it clear that killing anybody for eating beef was wrong and that’s why nobody supported it.

He also wondered why the so-called people who were debating on intolerance and returning their awards were now silent on the killing of a journalist.

Responding to a question about the perception of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being an 'outsider', Jaitley said sarcastically that it's a "strange" practice that some one who remained in politics for just one or two year became Prime Minister but one who has remained Chief Minister for 14 years is being called an outsider.

Asked about the change in governance, the Finance Minister said that efforts were taken by Modi government to change all that were happening for last ten years of the earlier rule.

"It has not happened all of a sudden and on its own that the world, which was talking about policy paralysis in the country is saying that it is growing fast," he said.

To a question about political acrimony between the ruling and the Opposition party, Jaitley said that he does not think that an acrimonious relationship between the opposition and the government is a new phenomena and referred to the scenario in 1971.

"But even when there are very strong differences, there is always a need for civility in discourse. Civility in discourse will come if we concentrate on issues and not persons and we give arguments that does not embarrass the quality of debate," the BJP leader said.

Jaitley added in a lighter vein that it will be "boring" for journalists if these political differences do not exist. "We are not having personal differences," he said.

To a question about the demand for a CBI probe in the journalist murder case of Bihar, Jaitley batted for an "independent probe" in the matter and said that he hopes that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar realizes that it's a crime in which the nature of probe will itself determine credibility.

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