Too lit­tle, too late

Business Standard - - ISSUES AND INSIGHTS -

The for­mer Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) Di­rec­tor Alok Verma’s res­ig­na­tion has come a bit too late. He failed to read the writ­ing on the wall after the Supreme Court’s or­der re­in­stat­ing him but with a caveat. It would have been more hon­ourable for him to have stepped down im­me­di­ately after as­sum­ing charge as the di­rec­tor thereby spar­ing him­self the em­bar­rass­ment of an ig­no­min­ious exit from the CBI.

The court’s di­rec­tion to the select com­mit­tee headed by the Prime Min­is­ter for de­cid­ing his con­tin­u­a­tion in of­fice would have also be­come in­fruc­tu­ous. In­stead, he be­trayed a lack of dis­cre­tion and ad­min­is­tra­tive ma­tu­rity by re­vers­ing the trans­fer or­ders passed by the in­terim di­rec­tor only to be nul­li­fied by the lat­ter soon after his exit. The only sil­ver lin­ing for him is his vin­di­ca­tion by the Delhi High Court dis­miss­ing the pe­ti­tion of Rakesh Asthana for quash­ing the FIR filed un­der Verma’s di­rec­tion. But, given the Cen­tral Vig­i­lance Com­mi­sion’s re­ports rec­om­mend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Verma has to be pre­pared for a pro­tracted le­gal bat­tle. These devel­op­ments have left the CBI’s cred­i­bil­ity badly bruised for which the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment has to ac­cept the big­ger share of the blame.

S K Choudhury Bengaluru

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