As details from the first of the chargesheets in the Delhi liquor scam being probed simultaneously by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) trickle into public domain, there can be little doubt that prima facie it’s a major scam which aimed to change policy by bribing government leaders and officials. Relating to the wholesale procurement, storage, distribution and retailing of alcohol in the national capital, it allegedly planned to give windfall gains to certain companies, in which, some politicians might have a share.
Morally, legally and politically, that would be a grave blunder, if the Central agencies can establish wrongdoing.
The charge of the Opposition, some of whose leaders, including AAP leaders in New Delhi, and leaders from the ruling parties in the Telugu states, BRS and YSRC, that the Central agencies are being misused by the BJP-led Central government would become irrelevant if the crime is proved.
Based on a series of select media leaks which soon became ubiquitously available due to incessant sharing on social media, the ED has alleged that BRS MLC K. Kavitha, daughter of Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the scam, besides senior leaders of the AAP. Several leading businessmen are also, understandably, reported to be involved.
Having established in the eyes of the people of India that they have uncovered one of the biggest scams in recent times, the Central agencies have the responsibility of conducting the probe by the book, fairly and transparently, and make efforts to close it quickly and take the accused to trial. The media, too, should not fall for the temptation to conduct a mock trial ahead of the real one.
Most importantly, while the accused must cooperate with the investigation and law enforcement agencies, the people must not forget the dictum — every individual is innocent until proven guilty.