'Is Sanjiv Kumar a whistleblower? The answer is yes and no'
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Sanjiv Kumar, an IAS officer, claims to be a whistleblower. He filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court alleging that while he was posted as director, primary education, Haryana, he was pressurised by Om Prakash Chautala, then chief minister of Haryana, to replace the original award lists prepared for selection of JBT teachers with fake award lists... Kumar produced a set of 15 award lists duly signed by members of the selection committees and submitted that these fake lists were to (replace) the original lists and when he refused to do this illegal act, an FIR and various departmental inquiries were initiated against him. Kumar claimed that despite such pressure, he implemented the original award lists and declared the results, which antagonised Om Prakash Chautala and his political and bureaucratic colleagues. He prayed (for) a CBI investigation...
Kumar handed over one set of interview lists of Kaithal and a part-list of Kurukshetra to the CBI. The 15 lists filed by Kumar in Supreme Court and (the lists) given by him to the CBI will be referred to hereinafter as Supreme Court lists.
During investigations, the CBI collected the award lists of 18 districts from the office of the director, primary education. These lists will now be referred to as directorate lists...
The two lists
Rajni Shekri Sibal, IAS, took over as director, primary education (on April 27, 2000)... It is alleged that she was asked to change the award lists. As per the prosecution, Sibal received an anonymous phone call and she was offered a 5 per cent share of the collected money to agree to the proposal. Subsequently, her house was also burgled. It is alleged that to ensure the safety of the award lists received from 18 district primary education officers, she wrapped the almirah containing the said award lists in four metres of cloth and sealed it using a one-rupee coin...
It is alleged that when Sibal refused to modify or replace the lists, she was transferred and was replaced with Sanjiv Kumar on July 11, 2000, with the approval of Om Prakash Chautala. Kumar was given additional charge of directorate of primary education with an understanding that he would prepare a second set of award lists...
It is alleged that Kumar took out the original award lists from the almirah in the middle of August 2000 and asked his PA and office superintendent to check how many scheduled caste and backward class candidates exceeded their vacancies and are were selected in the general category. (They) could not reach any conclusion and those lists were returned to Kumar. Prosecution claims that this shows that actually the original award lists had been taken out of the almirah prior to September 16, 2000, when a drama of desealing the almirah and taking out the award lists in presence of six members of the result compilation committee was enacted. As per investigation, the new set of award lists had already been placed in the almirah and these new lists were sent... the appointments were given on the basis of the new and fake award lists soon thereafter...
To sum up, whereas (Sanjiv Kumar and four other accused) have taken the stand that the directorate lists are the genuine lists, most of the chairpersons and members of the district level selection committees support the prosecution version and assert that the Supreme Court lists are the genuine lists and the directorate lists are the fake lists and that these fake lists were prepared by them, not voluntarily, but under immense pressure from Sanjiv Kumar, Sher Singh Badshami and Vidya Dhar. These accused persons have consistently claimed during the whole trial that they were apprehensive of harm not only to their service but also to their physical safety and their families' lives.
First of all, this court will have to see whether Sanjiv Kumar is a whistleblower. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because had he not filed the writ petition before the Supreme Court and had he not produced the original award lists, this scam would have never come to the light. No, because Kumar raised false pleas not only in Supreme Court of India but also at every stage during this trial. His stand... that the Supreme Court lists are fake and the directorate lists are genuine stands falsified... The grievance of Sanjiv Kumar during the entire trial had been that had the CBI made him a complainant and cited him as a prosecution witness, he would have explained all the facets of the conspiracy. But I find no substance in this grievance because during investigation, he maintained the Supreme Court lists to be the fake lists and the directorate lists to be the genuine lists. The special public prosecutors submitted that during investigation, the CBI found him to be a "comrade in crime"...
I would mention here that Kumar is the only person in this case who is aware of each and every fact as to how the scam took place... Therefore, throwing out his testimony altogether would amount to throwing a baby out with bath water. At the same time, he is an accomplice and therefore his testimony has to be appreciated in an extremely careful manner and only those portions of his evidence should be accepted which are corroborated from the evidence and circumstances proved on record.
Rajni Shekri Sibal
It is argued that her family background shows her close links with the Congress and that that is why she is (acting on behalf) of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the present chief minister and also the political rival of OP Chautala... I have considered these submissions and I disagree... nothing stopped her from directly implicating the CM... Had her intention been to implicate O P Chautala, she could have very well testified about the two meetings having been headed by O P Chautala himself but that was not the case.
The witness is not eager to falsely implicate anyone... She was not even anxious to implicate Ajay Singh Chautala by ascribing any role to him except his presence in two meetings.
It is argued that in her statement under 161 CrPC, she does not name Ajay Chautala and only refers to one "Bhai Sahab". She testified that now she could tell that he was Ajay Chautala. She clarified that at that time, she did not know the name of said "Bhai Sahab"...
I may mention here that she (Rajni Shekri Sibal) cannot forget the imposing presence of Ajay Chautala, who with his sheer presence, without speaking, conveyed in clear terms as to whom he was representing.
Although Ajay Chautala did not speak a word, he must explain why he was present in those meetings where Sibal was called and asked by Sher Singh Badshami to change the lists. The purpose is obvious. His role did not end here. He remained in touch with Sanjiv Kumar on telephone on August 30 and September 1, 2000, which is the period during which the fake award lists were being prepared. Ajay Chautala had a stake in the parliamentary constituency of Bhiwani and the final result shows that the candidates selected from Bhiwani far exceeded the vacancies of that district. Thus, Ajay Singh Chautala stands fully proved to be conspiring in this scam.
O P Chautala
… Profuse evidence is available on record to show that it was Om Prakash Chautala who was managing the whole affair. First he took out the JBT vacancies out of the purview of the Staff Selection Commission, then he increased the interview marks from 12.5 to 20 per cent. However, he could not (carry out) his intentions due to the prevailing political situation where he was running a coalition government. As soon as the Indian National Lok Dal got a full majority in February-March 2000, the opportunity to execute the conspiracy was available. When R P Chander, then director, primary education, moved the proposal to declare the results, he was transferred on April 26, 2000. Thereafter, Rajni Shekri Sibal was brought in. The fact that she was asked to change the award lists by Sher Singh Badshami, political adviser to the chief minister, in presence of Vidya Dhar, officer on special duty to the chief minister, as well as in the presence of Ajay Singh Chautala, son of the chief minister, leaves me in no doubt that all of them were acting under the directions and wishes of Om Prakash Chautala. When Sibal recommended compilation of the result vide her note sheet dated June 20, 2000, she was transferred... and Sanjiv Kumar was appointed in her place... Approval for compilation of the result by the result compilation committee was given by the chief minister on July 16, 2000, after the transfer of Sibal. This is a complete chain of circumstances which pin down accused Om Prakash Chautala as the main conspirator...
Further, the manner in which Vidya Dhar, Badshami and Ajay Singh Chautala had been meeting not only Sibal but also other officers shows that they had no apprehension of such proposals being leaked to the chief minister. Had these persons been acting without consent and without the blessings of Om Prakash Chautala, they would have been extremely circumspect... This is another reason to believe the prosecution case that it was Om Prakash Chautala on whose behalf these persons were executing this scam.
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