CBI says it’s independent of itself

DMK suspects Lanka might have ordered the raids

Chennai/New Delhi: Amidst growing shouts of disapproval of its raid at DMK leader M K Stalin’s residence, the CBI today clarified that the searches were part of the default protocol extended to parties walking out of the ruling coalition, and were never intended to unearth anything incriminating.

The CBI also distanced itself from the raid saying that ‘we are an independent agency. We are so independent that sometimes we become independent of our own selves’.

Along with other political parties, the CBI also condemned its own raid saying that the timing was wrong and that today’s operation, considering its nature and purpose, was actually scheduled for April 1.

In a formal press release the CBI said: ‘We wish to formally deny all allegations that the searches that we conducted at Stalin’s residence at Chennai were an act of political vendetta We place on record the fact that today’s raids were just a routine protocol exercise provided to all parties that exit any existing ruling coalition’.

The CBI asserted it was totally wrong to attribute motives to a formal, administrative operation. ‘If vengeance, as is being alleged, had indeed been the reason for the searches, we would have used the 2G or so many other bigger, and more deserving, scams, and not focussed on the completely acceptable scandal of import of cars’.

‘Import of cars is basically a matter dealt with by the Customs Department. We have no jurisdiction in the matter.  We want the parties and people to understand this fact. Why condemn us when you can actually laugh at us?’

The CBI press release further said: ‘We didn’t look for anything incriminating. But during the search at Stalin son, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s room we did come across the entire bound script of the film Kanna Lattu Thinna Asaiya. It was pretty criminal in the sense that it showed us an entire film could be made with a script that did not run beyond half page. Prima facie there is a case for sending the director of that film to prison. But since he did not quit the UPA we are not contemplating any action.’

The CBI, however, assured that if, by accident, it had stumbled on to any other document relating to 2G or any other scandal, it would return them to Stalin’s family at the earliest.

The CBI also conceded that the timing of the raid was all wrong. ‘As a matter of fact, this is the kind of operation that would have gone well with the spirit of April 1. We agree that we jumped the gun here. Now, we have to think up a new gig to match the occasion’.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, the DMK circles felt that today’s raids only underscored the growing clout out of the Lankan government. ‘With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself saying that his government did not carry out the raid, it is only logical to come to the conclusion that the situation has become so precarious that the Lankan government is in charge of the Indian CBI,’ a top leader of the DMK said here. ‘It is no surprise that the Lankan government has chosen to target our leader Karunanidhi’s family. As everyone knows, Karunanidhi is the most visible of Tamil leaders, especially because he wears an eye-piercing yellow towel.’

Elsewhere in New Delhi, with everyone in the ruling dispensation distancing themselves from the CBI raid, the principal opposition party, the BJP upped the ante by demanding an impartial probe to the probe that the CBI conducted today.

‘We want an independent agency like the CBI to handle the case,’ the BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said, and then bit her lips as she realised that her words had emerged more out of habit. ‘OK, the CBI needs to be investigated. Now, which is a better investigation agency than the CBI in this country? Well, we need to investigate that first and then hand the case over to it for further investigation?’ she added.

(Disclaimer: All things considered it is fair to say that the two Italian marines ordered the CBI raids at Stalin’s place)