Ranchi, Sept. 8: Instead of forwarding it to the Speaker, Ranchi deputy commissioner’s office had sent back the police application seeking prosecution sanction against JMM Jama MLA and First Family bahu Sita Soren in the abduction case.
Kept under wraps, this startling fact emerged today, two days after Jharkhand High Court asked the CBI and state police to file status reports on cases against Sita, including horse-trading before Rajya Sabha polls in March 2012 and kidnap of her former personal assistant Vikas Pandey in December 2012. The court will take up the matter again on September 30.
The two cases appear to be inter-linked. Pandey, who was Sita’s aide during the period of Rajya Sabha polls and was allegedly privy to the cash transfers, had become a CBI witness before his kidnap.
The fear of the office of deputy commissioner (DC) Vinay Kumar Choubey to route a prosecution sanction application to Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta, also a JMM veteran, is a cogent reminder of Sita’s present clout in a state where her dewar Hemant Soren is the chief minister.
Insiders said the DC office sat on the police application, sent in July, for over a month. Some 10 days ago, the letter was sent back from where it came without an explanation.
A week ago, Ranchi police sent the application to Speaker Bhokta directly.
Confirming this, Ranchi SSP Saket Kumar Singh said: “Previously, we had routed the request through the Ranchi DC. Now, we have approached Speaker’s office through the Assembly secretary.”
Choubey, on his part, justified his action. “I returned the request since Ranchi police neither quoted any provision under which such request for prosecution sanction should have been routed through the DC office nor gave any previous instance. Police can approach directly. The DC office is not a controlling authority,” the Ranchi DC said.
Bhokta stayed diplomatic. “I have heard about the request. Since I am out of Ranchi, I need to confirm it once I reach tomorrow,” he said over phone. Pressed further, he said: “As a Speaker, I will act in my judicial capacity. I am not supposed to reveal to the media the action I take.”
The SSP refused to comment over the DC office sitting over the letter for over a month. Pressed for an answer, he downplayed it. “There must be a technical or legal ground behind this,” he said.