Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday gave an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha to discuss the misuse of investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Central Government. “I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely :-The misuse of law enforcement and investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Central Government. These agencies were envisaged to be independent agents of the Indian democracy,” Gogoi said in his notice.
Gogoi also highlighted Supreme Court’s emphasis on the importance of the independent functioning of these agencies via several judgments. According to an answer in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Finance, 112 searches were conducted during 2004-14, which resulted in the filing of 104 prosecution complaints, amounting to almost 93 per cent of prosecution complaints. However, between 2014-22, 2974 searches were conducted with only 839 prosecution complaints being filed, summing up to mere 28 per cent of prosecution complaints. While there is a marked increase in searches, the percentage of prosecution complaints in comparison has seen a glaring decline,” he added.
Gogoi also slammed the ruling party stating that the searches by these investigative agencies were overwhelmingly conducted on members of the Opposition which underlines the worrying reality of the misuse of law enforcement and investigative agencies by the Central Government, where political searches have increased, while the percentage of prosecution complaints has severely reduced. He also stressed that these agencies are being used as a tool to curb opposition in the nation and it’s imperative that the independence of these agencies is protected for an effective democracy.
“The citizens of this nation should be able to place their full faith in these agencies, for which these agencies need to remain insulated from political incentives. This matter is central to the core values of democracy, making it both urgent and necessary for an informed discussion in the Parliament of India. I hereby request permission to raise the matter,” Gogoi noted. Earlier on Wednesday, the Opposition parties continued to force adjournment in the two Houses of Parliament over their demands related to price rise and imposition of GST by the government on some items of daily use.
Lok Sabha saw two adjournments before it was adjourned for the day on the third day of the monsoon session of Parliament. The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned for the day after lunch following an earlier adjournment. Opposition parties also held a protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament to press their demands.In the Lok Sabha, the opposition parties staged protests during the question hour.
Speaker Om Birla said the opposition members should not resort to sloganeering and take their seats. “The House is for dialogue, not for sloganeering,”he said.
He said opposition members resorting to sloganeering and displaying placards is not appropriate for the House and the country.Birla said people of the country want the House to function and differences are an attribute of democracy. “If you want to raise an issue, go to your seats. You have not been elected to raise slogans, display placards, ” he said. The House was adjourned till 2 pm, 4 pm and later for the day.
The Monsoon session of Parliament began on Monday. During the protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue, opposition leaders accused the government of disrupting the common man’s budget due to revised GST rates on several items of daily use.
Leaders of opposition parties including the Congress, NCP, DMK and Left raised slogans against the government demanding a rollback of the hike in GST rates on commodities like curd, bread and paneer. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were among those present.