Congress leader Digvijay Singh is right in asking the Central Vigilance Commission why it did not act earlier when it had access to all information on the irregularities in the purchases and contracts by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
The answer lies in the history of Balco disinvestment under the NDA in 2001. On March 12 of that year Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) N. Vittal wrote to Ajit Jogi, the CM of Chhattisgarh at the time and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the allegations of kickbacks in the Balco disinvestment deal. He based his action on “a complaint that money had been paid to officials in the Disinvestment Ministry”. He wrote to Ajit Jogi and CBI Director R.K. Raghavan for their comments. Jogi alleged a Rs.100-crore payoff, a charge denied by Arun Shourie. Jogi has said that since the CVC’s jurisdiction would cover only government servants, and since the alleged payoffs were made to extra-constitutional authorities, a veiled reference to the Prime Minister’s Office, no worthwhile gain would be served by a CVC probe. Thus Vajpayee’s PMO and Shourie’s ministry escaped further probe.
Keeping in view such circumstances, either CVC’s jurisdiction should be expanded or the CBI should take over the investigation where the CVC’s domain ends.
Dr Mookhi Amir Ali