Mamata’s ‘A. Singh’ letter to governor
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday sent a missive to governor Jagdeep Dhankhar pointing out his recent queries into criminal investigations against an accused amounted to interference in state government’s day-to-day administration and asked if it was an attempt to influence the probe.
Though Mamata’s letter termed the accused as one A. Singh, sources in Nabanna said it was none other than turncoat Arjun Singh, now BJP MP from Barrackpore, against whom a case of misappropriation of funds of a local cooperative bank is on.
Sources said the governor had sent a letter to the state’s DGP Virendra on September 5 seeking details of the probe against the BJP MP.
“The DGP sent a brief reply mentioning that the state police firmly adhered to the path laid down by law, but that did not please the governor, and he summoned the DGP. The chief minister wrote the letter as the governor was crossing all limits,” said a senior government official.
In her letter, an “upset, anguished, and disillusioned” Mamata reminded the governor of his role as stated in Article 167 of the Constitution.
“At the outset, I wish to call upon the wisdom of B.R. Ambedkar… who, while explaining Article 167 of the Constitution, had opined that the Hon’ble Governor is like the British Crown and thus the Hon’ble Governor has no right to interfere with the ‘day-to-day’ administration of the State Government,” the letter says.
“He (Ambedkar) further stated that under the Article 167, the only information that the Hon’ble Governor is entitled to, is regarding executive and legislative proposals of the ministry, from the Chief Minister,” the letter added.
“Sadly, your inquiry into criminal investigations in connection with a particular accused Mr. A. Singh, and seeking ‘reports’ regarding the investigation processes from the Director General of Police is not an information regarding any executive or legislative proposal and such inquiry not only amounts to interference in the day-to-day administration of the State Government but also gives rise to serious suspicions of interference in and influencing on-going investigations.”
The chief minister also pointed out that the accused should have knocked the doors of the judiciary in case he had any grievance, and being a lawyer, the governor should have suggested the accused follow the path of law. As the governor wrote the letter on behalf of the accused, it might have serious consequences under law, the missive pointed out.
Dhankhar in his tweets later in the evening, said the DGP did not appear as requested third time in a row, “can’t be overlooked”. “CM writes instead, on his behalf.”
“Further, the accused, by successfully obtaining Hon’ble Governor’s extra-legal intervention and interference, has actually put the Hon’ble Governor in a dangerously precarious position which might have serious consequences under law,” the letter stated.
The chief minister also mentioned that the instance could set a wrong example in society.
“This may also give rise to a wrong impression in the mind of persons accused in various criminal cases that the Hon’ble Governor, instead of the Hon’ble Judiciary, is now the appropriate authority in the State to approach to seek redressal of grievances, if any, in an ongoing investigation process,” the letter reads.