CBI cred­i­bil­ity at all- time low

The Asian Age - - Edit -

The CBI, once feared as the na­tion’s key in­ves­tiga­tive agency, will never be the same again. It has vir­tu­ally been de­stroyed as an in­sti­tu­tion due to the in­ternecine war­fare be­tween just- sacked di­rec­tor Alok Verma and still- sus­pended spe­cial di­rec­tor Rakesh Asthana. Emerg­ing de­tails of in­trigu­ing events show many peo­ple and the in­sti­tu­tions they rep­re­sent in very poor light. While the ma­jor step was Mr Verma’s re­moval by the Prime Min­is­ter- led panel act­ing on the ba­sis of the CVC’s re­port lev­el­ling cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions, and the of­fi­cer choos­ing to re­sign rather than head the Fire Ser­vices, a lot more hap­pened be­hind the scenes that didn’t quite meet the eth­i­cal stan­dards ex­pected from an in­sti­tu­tion of na­tional im­por­tance. It ap­pears the CVC wasn’t quite forth­com­ing on his deal­ings over the is­sue, in­clud­ing his visit to Mr Verma’s res­i­dence to in­ter­cede on Mr Asthana’s be­half re­gard­ing ad­verse com­ments in the of­fi­cer’s con­fi­den­tial re­port.

The sus­pi­cion is that the Supreme Court may not have shared the Jus­tice Pat­naik re­port with the PM- led com­mit­tee. Ap­par­ently, the re­tired judge had found the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against Mr Verma weren’t sub­stan­ti­ated, and were just charges lev­elled by the CVC. The of­fi­cer’s con­tention that nat­u­ral jus­tice had been de­nied, and was, in fact, scut­tled by in­for­ma­tion be­ing with­held sounds fair. Of­fi­cers may come and go but the in­sti­tu­tion must re­main cred­i­ble if peo­ple are to have faith in un­bi­ased in­ves­ti­ga­tions into scams. What the en­tire episode of a di­rec­tor be­ing sad­dled with a par­al­lel spe­cial di­rec­tor is to com­pli­cate the CBI’s func­tion­ing and whit­tling down its cred­i­bil­ity. No won­der at least three states have al­ready de­cided not to al­low the CBI to probe cases in their ter­ri­tory.

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