इशरत जहाँ केस में आईबी अधिकारी राजेन्द्र कुमार से पूछताछ मामले में एजेंसियों द्वारा जानबूझ कर गोपनीयता भंग करने की जांच कराये जाने की मांग उठ रही है. प्रधान मंत्री और गृह मंत्री को भेजे अपने पत्र में लखनऊ स्थित आरटीआई कार्यकर्ता डॉ नूतन ठाकुर ने कहा है कि राजेंद्र कुमार की पूछताछ से जुडी कई अतिगोपनीय सूचनाएं बाहर आयीं जबकि सीबीआई ने उन्हें आरुषि कांड में मांगी सामान्य सूचना गोपनीयता के नाम पर देने से इनकार कर दिया था. सबसे गंभीर बात है कि गृह सचिव की मीटिंग, जिसमे उनके अलावा मात्र आईबी निदेशक, सीबीआई निदेशक और एक पूर्व सीबीआई निदेशक शामिल हुए थे, की पूरी बातचीत अनधिकृत ढंग से लोगों तक पहुँच गयी.
ठाकुर का कहना है कि ये सभी अधिकारी देश की सुरक्षा से जुड़े उच्चतम पदों पर तैनात हैं, अतः उनके स्तर पर सूचना की गोपनीयता भंग करना किसी भी स्थिति में स्वीकार्य नहीं है. अतः उन्होंने इस मामले की जांच कैबिनेट सचिव या राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार से कराते हुए दोषी पाए गए अधिकारी को पद से हटाये जाने की मांग की है. साथ ही उन्होंने आईबी और सीबीआई को आरटीआई एक्ट से बाहर रखे जाने पर पुनर्विचार करने का भी अनुरोध किया है.
प्रधानमंत्री और गृह मंत्री को भेजे पत्र —
Sri Manmohan Singh,
The Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Government of India,
Subject- Alleged CBI-IB rift and leaking of information
I present before you the reference to some of the news articles published in some of the leading newspapers of India. Article “CBI focuses on Intelligence Bureau officer’s role” by Sri Prashant Dayal in the Times of India as early as 04/05/2013 says- The CBI is focusing on a top central Intelligence Bureau offcier, Rajinder Kumar, in connection with various fake encounter cases in Gujarat, including the murder of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in 2003.” The article “Ishrat Jahan case: IB, CBI chiefs meet Home Secretary RK Singh” released by PTI on 13/06/2013 says about the meeting details-“ The sources said while the IB Director Asif Ibrahim pressed for the need to maintain confidentiality in the ongoing probe, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha assured that the same would be done. Sinha said CBI had enough evidence to back the summons issued to Kumar, a 1979-batch Manipur-Tripura cadre IPS officer, seeking to examine him again in connection with the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case probe.”
The article “Ishrat Jahan case: IB, CBI patch up as NSA intervenes” published in the DNA dated 14/06/2013 says about the same meeting-“Former CBI director AP Singh and IB’s operations head in 2004 were also present in nearly one-hour-long meeting that reportedly witnessed “heated” exchanges between the two agencies heads before the warring parties agreed on a face saver formula.” It also said-“Blaming the IB for not cooperating, CBI sources said they have witness testimony, call data records and other evidence which is enough to question and arrest Kumar. CBI director Ranjit Sinha even went on record to claim that “they have evidence that will stand legal scrutiny.” Sources, however, said following the patch up, Kumar is unlikely to be hounded and implicated in the case as an accused and would only be questioned.”
The article “Home Secretary intervenes in IB, CBI tussle in Ishrat case” in The Hindu dated 14/06/2013 says-“ Informed sources said while Mr. Ibrahim objected to media glare on the issue and pointed towards IB’s image getting sullied due to questioning of its officer, Mr. Sinha insisted that they have enough evidence against Mr. Kumar. The CBI head assured the IB chief that they would maintain confidentiality while handling the case.” The article also said-“It has issued fresh notices to the officer under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure as previous examination of the officer was not satisfactory and replies given by him appeared diversionary, CBI sources said. The CBI plans to file charge sheet soon in connection with the fake encounter, they added.”
Another article “CBI to question IB officer in Ishrat Jahan encounter case” from The Times of India dated 18/06/2013 says-“Sources said the questioning will take place in Gujarat and IB special director Rajinder Kumar will be confronted with the statements of Gujarat police officers who have testified against him.” It also said-“CBI will also ask Kumar about call details records which suggest that he was in regular touch with Gujarat police officers at the time of the encounter. According to CBI, the role of Kumar, who was posted in Gujarat Intelligence Bureau in 2004, had come under the scanner for the alleged fake input about Lashkar-e-Taiba's purported plan to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.”
A news article “CBI: IB official planted AK-47” by Sri Mahesh Langa in Hindustan Times dated 13/06/2013 says-“As battlelines got drawn between the CBI and the IB over the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, the agency is coming forth with more information on the involvement of IB officer Rajinder Kumar and pushing for his arrest. The agency officials claim the evidence against special director Kumar is strong. But to avoid any crisis, the CBI may arrest him after he retires in July.”It said-“Now, the agency said he also supplied an AK-47 and helped get prior custody of two of the four persons killed. “The gun was planted by the police and shown as recovered from the terrorists,” said a senior officer involved in the probe. “Besides electronic evidence like call records, which establishes Kumar’s being in constant touch with those who executed the murders, the CBI has also got evidence like witness testimony given before a magistrate,” he said. “Kumar’s custodial interrogation is required to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.”
The news article “Ishrat Jahan case: CBI says it has evidence against IB officer” by Sri Rahul Tripathi in the Indian Express dated 14/06/2013 says-“CBI director Ranjit Sinha Thursday claimed the agency has sufficient evidence against Intelligence Bureau special director Rajendra Kumar for his alleged involvement in the 2004 fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and four others. On Thursday, home secretary R K Singh called the CBI director and IB director to discuss the controversy and defuse the situation. The agency said it will question Kumar on Tuesday and may not arrest him. "We have evidence against Kumar and the agency's proceedings are as per the law," Sinha said after the meeting.” As per another news article “IB director complains after CBI summons officer, NSA briefs PM” by Sri Rahul Tripathi and Sri Maneesh Chhibber in the Indian Express dated 13/06/2013 says-“However, sources said the CBI has told the government that it has adequate material to prove Kumar's role in the conspiracy leading to the alleged fake encounter in which Ishrat and three others were killed. CBI sources claimed the agency also has proof of what they said was Kumar's "proximity" to the Narendra Modi government.”
A news article “Home Min steps in to end IB-CBI face-off” in The Pioneer dated 14/06/2013 says-“During the meeting, IB Director Syed Asif Ibrahim is learnt to have pressed for the need to maintain confidentiality in the ongoing probe to which Sinha agreed. Sinha said CBI had enough evidence to back the summons issued to Kumar, a 1979-batch IPS officer, seeking to examine him again.” The news article “आईबी अफसर को गिरफ़्तार करके मानेगी सीबीआई” in Dainik Jagran dated 14/06/2013 reported about the meeting- “इसमें सीबीआई से राजेन्द्र कुमार की गिरफ़्तारी को फ़िलहाल टालने को कहा गया है. उच्चपदस्थ सूत्रों के अनुसार बैठक में सीबीआई निदेशक रंजीत सिन्हा ने इशरत जहाँ के फर्जी मुठभेड़ में आईबी के संयुक्त निदेशक रहते हुए राजेन्द्र कुमार की भूमिका के सारे सबूत पेश किये. इसके अनुसार राजेन्द्र कुमार को सिर्फ मुख्यमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी पर लश्कर-ए-तयैबा के हमले की आशंका का अलर्ट जारी करने का आरोपी नहीं बनाया जा रहा है. बल्कि इससे आगे बढ़ कर इशरत के फर्जी मुठभेड़ की साजिश में भी पूरी तरह लिप्त थे.” It also said- “वहीँ आईबी निदेशक आसिफ इब्राहीम का कहना है कि मौजूदा बिशेष निदेशक की गिरफ़्तारी से आईबी अधिकारियों के मनोबल पर विपरीत असर पड़ेगा. इसके बाद राजेंद्र कुमार की गिरफ़्तारी फ़िलहाल टालने का फैसला किया गया.”
An Amar Ujala article “सीबीआई और आईबी की तकरार हुई और तीखी” dated 18/06/2013 wrote- “इस मामले की सीधी निगरानी कर रहे सीबीआई के शीर्षस्थ अधिकारी ने अमर उजाला जो खास बातचीत में बताया मणिपुर त्रिपुरा कैडर के आईपीएस राजेन्द्र कुमार को सिर्फ इसलिए अब्देखा नहीं किया जा सकता क्योंकि वह आईबी के अधिकारी हैं” as also- “शीर्षस्थ अधिकारी के अनुसार एजेंसी राजेन्द्र से जरूर पूछताछ करेगी. उन्होंने राजेन्द्र की गिरफ़्तारी की संभावना से भी इनकार नहीं किया” and “अधिकारी ने हैरानी जताई कि अखबारों में में सीबीआई को अदालत की मिली फटकार सम्बन्धी खबर कैसे छप गयी.”
I am not concerned about the factual positions of the case and the investigation being carried. I do not have the knowledge, understanding and factual information regarding the case and its intricacies. Hence, I find it appropriate not to comment on these aspects of the case. But there is one very serious matter involved here. It is as regards the leakage of information related with this case including the outflow of the happenings in a most secret meeting consisting of only four persons- all top-notch authorities of the Government of India.
A reading of the article “CBI focuses on Intelligence Bureau officer’s role”, as early as 04/05/2013 makes it clear that the information in this case got released through some sources in the CBI. The news article “CBI: IB official planted AK-47” very clearly mentions about CBI officials being the source of the news, where even the statement of a CBI official is quoted. The Amar Ujala article “सीबीआई और आईबी की तकरार हुई और तीखी” very clearly mentions that the facts were obtained through an unauthorized communication by a very senior CBI officer related with this case.
Worst of all is certainly the leakage of information of the meeting held in the Home Secretary’s office. It is really a matter of greatest concern that all the details of a meeting where only four persons were present- the Home Secretary, IB Director, CBI Director and ex CBI Director, all such persons who are responsible for the security and safety of the Nation at the highest level and are supposed to be the beholder of all kinds of extremely secret information, came in open in unofficial manner through personal communications. It would have been a different thing if any of these officials had officially and authoritatively made these facts public. But the coming of these facts in open through unauthorized means of communication makes it pretty obvious that there is something seriously wrong with the functioning of the government. This incidence has extremely dangerous portents for the entire Nation which makes it pretty obvious that we are not placed in safe and reliable hands at the very top. Leakage of information of this top level meeting surpasses every previous example because it is certain that any of these four persons leaked the information to the world.
One needs to contrast these leakage of information with the general attitude of these agencies as far as sharing of information under RTI Act is concerned. It really pains me to realize that it is the same CBI which is leaking all kinds of secret information on one hand and which refused to provide me certain information as regards the Aarushi murder case which is already in the Court and where I had sought information as per the previous records. IB again is very vociferous about its need for secrecy and has been exempted under the RTI Act. Yet, as stated in the Amar Ujala article, a senior CBI officer is quoted to have raised fingers on IB for leaking information.
In the background of these facts, the petitioner makes the following humble requests-
1. Kindly have a fresh revaluation as regards keeping the IB and particularly the CBI under the exempt list under the Second Schedule as per provisions of section 24 of the RTI Act
2. Kindly get enquired into all these leakage of information regarding the Rajendra Kumar case by an officer no less in rank than the Cabinet Secretary of India or by the National Security Advisor.
3. Kindly get enquired the leakage of information of the Home Secretary meeting attended by Director IB, Director CBI and ex Director CBI by one of the above mentioned authorities so as to fix responsibility as regards leakage of information
4. Kindly immediately remove the concerned officer found at fault for leaking information about the Home Secretary meeting and if the Enquiry officer is not able to pinpoint the liability to one of these officers, then to immediately remove both the Director IB and the Director, CBI, holding them equally responsible for the leakage of these extremely sensitive and confidential information
Dr Nutan Thakur)
Copy to Sri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Home Minister, Government of India, New Delhi for necessary action please