Pul's Widow Approaches Vice President Ansari, Seeks SIT Probe
ITANAGAR: Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul’s widow, Dangwimsai, today approached Vice-President Hamid Ansari seeking a SIT probe into allegations made in her late husband’s 60-page diary entitled ‘Mere Vichaar’.
The diary which has been termed as a ‘suicide note’ or ‘dying declaration’ by many, sent ripples in the judiciary after its contents were made public in February.
Several politicians from the state and New Delhi were named by Pul as having indulged in large-scale corruption. What really shocked many in New Delhi were allegations that top judges (retired and serving) were also indulging in corruption, including taking cash to pass favourable judgements.
Detailing the contents of the diary, Dangwimsai said that the allegations made against top members of the judiciary “needs to be seriously investigated by a credible investigation team”.
However, since both the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and President Pranab Mukherjee were named in Pul’s diary, Dangwimsai said she was approaching the vice-president to intervene in the matter and “exercise the authority which normally the President would have exercised”.
She wrote that the vice-president should consult with other judges the terms of Veeraswami’s judgment and permit filing of an FIR against the CJI and Justice Dipak Misra (the second most senior judge who was also mentioned in Pul’s diary).
“If these allegations are not credibly investigated, a serious cloud of suspicion will continue to remain over the politicians and judges whose names are mentioned in the suicide note. This would be most unfortunate for our democracy as well as for the judiciary. A credible investigation in this matter can only be done by an SIT constituted by 3/5 judges next in seniority to the judges named in the note,” she wrote.
Dangwimsai had earlier sought the CJI’s intervention to give permission to register an FIR based on the suicide note. However, the CJI treated her letter as a miscellaneous criminal writ petition and posted the matter before a two-judge bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and UU Lalit.
When the matter came up for hearing, her lawyer Dushyan Dave objected to the listing of the matter in judicial side and had insisted on a probe from the administrative angle before withdrawing the matter.
Apart from the vice-president, Dangwimsai also wrote to the Supreme Court secretary general, posing some difficult questions.
Referencing her earlier letter addressed to the CJI on February 17, she said that although she did not receive any written communication, it was reported in the media that the CJI had declined to grant necessary permission on administrative side.
“However, suddenly the matter was converted into a Miscellaneous Criminal Writ Petition,” she wrote and added that “in view of the extraordinary developments which were likely to seriously impair my right to pursue the matter in accordance with the law and fearing that the dismissal of the writ may cause incalculable harm, the letter was withdrawn”.
Questioning the secretary general, she sought a copy if a decision on the administrative side was indeed taken. Further, she also sought “notings” as to why no decision was taken on the administrative side.
She also demanded to know the reason why her original letter to the CJI was converted to a criminal writ petition and requested a copy of the decision.
Stating that the allegations in her husband’s diary cast doubts over the integrity of the judiciary and its independence, she said that the details she has sought should be provided to her after consulting the senior most judge (in this case Justice Chelameswar) and that her letter must not be placed before the CJI and Justice Dipak Mishra “in view of the sensitivity of the matter”.
“I do hope and trust that at least now the matter will receive absolutely objective, independent and judicial treatment from this great institution,” she added.
Apart from the Green Arunachal Foundation, Dangwimsai’s appeal has also found the support of eminent lawyers and activists including Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav who were with her when meeting the vice-president.