CBI STICKS TO ITS CORE VALUES
The primary expectation from any investigating agency is that it will conduct investigations in a free, impartial, expeditious and complete manner. It is a matter of pride for CBI that it has been able to earn persistent trust of the courts, media and pub
Winning is a natural yearning for any human being and mankind has always endeavoured to win in every walk of life. Societal and cultural norms also entail that such efforts are made in a manner that is lawful, socially endorsable and in synergy with social good. When individual desires are premised on a myopic and selfish edifice, such cardinal principals are often lost sight of.
The same ethics are applicable to organisations as well, while pursuing their objectives or goals. No organisation should try to excel or win at the cost of such core values. We all are aware that during the last two decades, CBI has acquired a one-of-its-kind status. But through all the accolades and brickbats, CBI has never compromised its principals and core values—to do at all times what is morally correct and legally tenable. Every CBI investigation is placed and critically tested before the court of law and our consistent conviction rate of more than 67 per cent is a fair testimony to the superiority of our investigation and prosecution work. In case a court makes any adverse comments about the quality of investigation or conduct of an investigating officer, it is taken extremely seriously in CBI, and such matters are painstakingly examined for appropriate action against arraigned or negligent CBI officers. This is one of the best ways to ensure institutional integrity so that the organisation can be insulated from political manipulations.
The primary expectation from any investigating agency is that it will conduct investigations in a free, impartial, expeditious and complete manner. It is a matter of profound satisfaction for CBI that for more than 50 years, it has been able to earn persistent trust and confidence of the courts, the media and the public at large. The situation is such today that in any important matter or scam, there is growing demand from all quarters to refer the matter to CBI for an in-depth and fair investigation. It is also a matter of record that the investigations of numerous complicated cases and scams have, at times, meant CBI taking a stand which has been against prevailing public opinion and against those in possession of authority. Such a reputation of CBI has been built over the years due to outstanding professional work.
The bureau’s core competence is that it collectively exemplifies and symbolises the Voltairian spirit that even if its officers may, on occasion, disagree, they nevertheless uphold the right of others not to agree with them. It is this environment that acts as pivot, nurtures professionalism in the organisation, and places us a notch above the rest of the investigating agencies in India.
So far as political interference in CBI investigations is concerned, these are basically interventions, and it enables us to have a pragmatic and complete view of the matter under investigation. It also depends upon the individual or the organisation as to how such interventions are taken. Listening to all concerned, including the accused or suspects, is always in the interest of the organisation, and it is in fact one of the cardinal principles of natural justice.
Recent policies of CBI have sought to remake the organisation as a significantly efficacious and efficient anti-corruption investigating agency. CBI has also tried to upgrade itself for the needs and demands of a new and vibrant India. In order to significantly contribute in the serious area of human trafficking and crime against women and children, we have started anti-human trafficking units in the CBI. Occasionally, CBI has been accused of doing all possible wrong things, from favouring the accused to towing the lines of our political masters. However, we work in a professional and fair manner. Each officer has full freedom to express his views. CBI is committed to ensuring propriety and human dignity by practicing scientific and painstaking questioning or interrogation rather than resorting to short cuts. We remain within the law while interrogating the accused or eliciting information from the witnesses, since means are as important as the ends.
There is an urgent need for all investigating agencies, including CBI, to focus on providing fair, timely and complete investigations so as to curb and effectively tackle the menace of corruption, which has spread like a virulent epidemic, as well as other crimes in the country. We also need to be extra sensitive and exhibit deft handling while dealing with crimes against women and children. We need more educated debate on all the relevant issues.