Babri case: No one influences CBI's decision-making, SC told

New Delhi: CBI has told the Supreme Court that its decision-making was not influenced by anyone and the dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and 16 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case was not at its instance.

"The decision-making process of the CBI is completely independent. All decisions are taken based on correct facts in the light of the extant law. There is no question of any person, body or institution influencing the decision-making process of CBI or the manner in which it pursues its cases in courts," the agency said in an affidavit.

Its submissions before the apex court came in response to a petition of Haji Mahboob Ahmad against a 2010 order of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court dropping criminal conspiracy charge against the BJP-VHP leaders in the demolition case.

Ahmad, in his plea, has also sought setting aside of the High Court's order of May 20, 2010, dropping section 120B (criminal conspiracy) under the IPC. CBI has also challenged the dropping of conspiracy charges against the accused persons for demolition of the disputed medieval structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The investigating agency said its decision-making process was carried out strictly in accordance with the provisions of CBI Crime Manual and there was a "hierarchic" mechanism that allowed officers at each level to take decisions and make reasoned recommendations in an independent manner.

"That a perusal of the relevant provisions of the Crime Manual ... would show that nowhere are ministers involved in any decision-making process in respect of specific cases. That the governing Ministry of the CBI is the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, headed by its secretary. The Ministry deals with the broad administerial/ budgetary aspects of the CBI.

"Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is headed by a Minister of State (with independent charge) who reports to the Cabinet Minister for the Ministry, the Prime Minister. That the Ministry of Home Affairs does not play any role in the administrative or decision making aspects in any manner. That the allegations made by the petitioner are denied as they are wrong and incorrect," the CBI affidavit said.

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