In the earlier report, we discussed the manner in which former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, destroyed the lives of four government officials using the CBI as a tool to preserve the interests of her family. We also established that it wasn’t a one-off incidence but a pattern of behaviour that Indira Gandhi exhibited during her rule.
In this report, we shall elaborate on the extent to which the CBI was compromised during her regime.
Sudarshan Kumar Verma was a clerk who was employed in Northern Railway. The CBI Delhi Branch was informed by Gopal Das, a loco-shed man, that Verma was demanding a bribe to fix his salary. Consequently, a case was registered by the CBI and he was caught in the act of demanding and receiving the bribe.
Verma, as it happened, had a contact in the Prime Minister’s household and D. Sen, the Director of CBI, was asked by someone from Indira Gandhi’s home to look into the matter.
A complaint was lodged against him and following an investigation, prosecution under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including the Prevention of Corruption Act was sent to the Vigilance Officer, Northern Railway. Normally, such cases do not call for the attention of the Director or the Joint Director. But in this particular case, Sen called for the case papers as soon as the case was registered.
Sen then decided to examine the case once again even after a recommendation for the prosecution was submitted. Sometime in September 1976, Verma submitted a representation to Sen that the case against him be reconsidered. A.P. Mukherjee, DIG of CBI Delhi Branch, made his opinion known that there was no substance in the representation by Verma.
In September 1976, after much deliberation over the matter of his representation, Sen issued orders to the Delhi Branch of the CBI to take further necessary action. Then, a fresh report was prepared to recommend Departmental action against Verma.
The Commission observed, “The circumstances of the case and the evidence given by Shri Sen leave little room for doubt that someone from the Prime Minister’s household contacted Shri D. Sen and asked him to so arrange that Shri Verma was not prosecuted.” It further observed that defying normal procedure, Sen had “suggested a different line of action according to which Shri Verma could be dealt with departmentally.”
The Commission admitted that it wasn’t possible to determine who exactly from the Prime Minister’s household had pressurized Sen into intervening in the matter personally. But the statements provided to the Commission by Sen are particularly revealing. The Commission report states, “Shri D. Sen has stated that he met Shri Verma in the morning Durbar at the house of the Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi, and that Shri Verma made a representation. Shri D. Sen further stated that because the representation was made to him at the Prime Minister’s house, he called for the papers and reconsidered the matter.” In conclusion, the Commission states, “…a clear case in which perversion of the normal process by Shri D. Sen and misuse of power is established.”
Thus, we see that four innocent government officers were harassed and humiliated by the CBI headed by Sen at the behest of Indira Gandhi and a corrupt clerk at Northern Railway escaped all consequences simply because he had a contact at the Prime Minister’s household. It is consistent with the observation made by the American Embassy that the corruption of those favourable to the party disposition was ignored while perceived political opponents were attacked ruthlessly using the state apparatus.