Opinion

Political Intervention Or Lapses In Law: What’s The Actual Cause Of Depleting Credibility Of CBI?

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
4594
| October 24 , 2018 , 16:47 IST

An internal war has emerged inside the premier investigation agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana emerged in a battle of bribery acquisitions against each other.

After the battle came out in public, the Department of Personnel and Training issued a circular ordering a temporary vacation for both the Director and Special Director of the investigating agency.

The internal battle has hinted an issue on the organization’s integrity and credibility. The ongoing war also emerged as a battleground of politics wherein the opposition parties are hinting a foul play in the agency and alleging political interference as the reason for such integrity issues of the internal investigators.

Opposition parties have termed the temporary leave as an escape route of the Bhartiya Janta Party-led government to evade the investigation in the Rafale Deal.

But, What Is The Actual Cause?

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday held a press conference and answered the doubts about the unprecedented incident.

Jaitley terming the alleged failure of the CBI as rare happening and promising a fair trial said, “To maintain the institutional integrity of CBI and in the interest of fairness, purely as an interim measure, they will sit out by going on leave. A SIT not functioning under either of these officers will investigate. This is in accordance with the highest standards of fairness.”

According to a judgment by the country’s highest court in the ‘Vineet Narain & Others Vs. Union of India’ case, the bench laid down guidelines to ensure independence and autonomy of the CBI and ordered that the CBI be placed under the supervision of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), an independent governmental agency intended to be free from executive control or interference.

Justices S.P. Bharucha and S.C. Sen had issued a number of guidelines to ensure the efficient functioning of the CBI.  In its order, the bench also clearly spelt out the process for appointment of the CBI director, stating that “recommendations for appointment of the director, CBI shall be made by a committee headed by the central vigilance commissioner with the home secretary and secretary (personnel) as members. The views of the incumbent director shall be considered by the committee for making the best choice.”

The bench had also specified the tenure for the CBI chief noting that “the Director, CBI shall have a minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation. This would ensure that an officer suitable in all respects is not ignored merely because he has less than two years to superannuate from the date of his appointment.”

But But Asthana’s temporary leave was an unprecedented move that came against the actual course and guidelines of the legal functioning of the investigation agency.But Asthana’s temporary leave was an unprecedented move that came against the actual course and guidelines of the legal functioning of the investigation agency.But Asthana’s temporary leave was an unprecedented move that came against the actual course and guidelines of the legal functioning of the investigation agency.But Asthana’s temporary leave was an unprecedented move that came against the actual course and guidelines of the legal functioning of the investigation agency.But Asthana’s temporary leave was an unprecedented move that came against the actual course and guidelines of the legal functioning of the investigation agency.

Even CBI Director Alok Verma’s temporary vacation mode was an unconstitutional move as the Director level officer of the premier investigation authority requires the consent of a collegium comprising the prime minister, the chief justice of India and leader of the opposition. But in the case of Verma, the matter has not been referred to the Selection Committee and the government has itself stated that Rao was appointed interim CBI director by the Appointments Committee of the cabinet. 

faiz hariry

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