Saradha probe: Union home secretary Anil Goswami accepts speaking to CBI, faces uncertain future
NEW DELHI: Union home secretary Anil Goswami faces an uncertain future after he accepted that he had called up CBI officials while former Union minister Matang Sinh was being questioned by its sleuths in Kolkata in connection with Saradha chit fund scam.
The admission came at his meeting with Union home ministerRajnath Singh here on Wednesday, during which he was asked to explain the allegations that he had tried to dissuade the CBI from arresting Sinh.
Goswami’s action, seen as a “misdemeanour” and his “interference into the affairs of an autonomous probe agency”, could make his continuation as home secretary “untenable”, sources close to the home minister indicated to TOI.
Union home minister has taken a dim view of this alleged “interference” and forwarded the versions of both Goswami as well as CBI director Anil Singh, who also met him separately on Wednesday, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a final decision.
“It is now for the Prime Minister to take a call on the next course of action,” a home ministry official said while not ruling out curtailment of Goswami’s fixed two-year tenure, which ends on June 30.
According to sources in the Union home ministry, Singh was seized of reports appearing in the media over the past couple of days, alleging that a top home ministry official had tried to influence CBI not to arrest Sinh while as he was being questioned in Kolkata. With no clarification forthcoming from Goswami, who was in fact away on a tour to Jammu, Singh briefed the Prime Minister late on Tuesday on the matter.
Goswami returned to the Capital on Tuesday evening, and was summoned by the home minister to his chamber on Wednesday to clarify the allegations against him. Singh also later called CBI director Anil Sinha separately to give the agency’s version of events.
Incidentally, after Singh had finished meeting both Goswami and Sinha, the two officers met separately in home secretary Goswami’s chamber.
During his meeting with the home minister, Goswami did not deny making the calls to the CBI officials. The exact reasons that he gave for having made the call are not clear.
“Whatever the reasons, the home secretary’s act amounts to “interference” into an ongoing CBI probe. This is serious and could make his position untenable,” an officer close to Rajnath Singh told TOI.
Matang Sinh has been arrested for allegedly misappropriating Rs 28 crore of Saradha group, which he allegedly took from Sudipta Sen, the head of the chit-fund company.