Liberating the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, May 16, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    LIBERATING THE CBI

    It is high time that the CBI was torn out of the government’s sphere of influence, writes Sankar Sen



    The director of the Central Bureau of Investigation spilled the beans when he frankly admitted that the autonomy of the CBI is a myth and the organization functions constantly under extraneous pulls and pressures. In important and politically sensitive cases there is tremendous pressure on the CBI to toe the line indicated by the government. It has often been found that in sensitive cases the outcome of the CBI’s investigation invariably depends upon the political equation of the accused with the ruling power and it changes with the change in that equation.

    As the jurist, Fali Nariman, has put it, the CBI has been functioning under successive Central governments, “not by notes on files but on nods and winks” of the minister or senior officers in charge of the administrative ministry. So although unfortunate, it is not surprising that the CBI director has shown the status report on the investigation in the coal block allocation scandal to the law minister and officials of the coal ministry and the prime minister’s office. The court has justifiably admonished the law minister and senior law officers for making deletions and additions which virtually changed the heart of the status report. It dubbed the CBI “caged parrot” and held that showing the status report in a case involving the people of the ministries and the PMO subverted the integrity of the investigation. It was improper on the part of the law minister to call the CBI director to discuss the status report. The director also should have refused to show the report to the minister.

    The CBI is a “caged parrot” that has to be liberated. The court has directed the government to bring laws within two months to restore the functional autonomy of the CBI. Some critics have viewed this direction of the court as ‘judicial overreach’. But liberating the CBI from the thraldom of the government is the prime need of the hour. With an emasculated and politicized CBI, the fight against corruption will never be successful. The CBI has lost credibility as an independent investigating agency and this unfortunate development is impeding all meaningful endeavours to combat corruption.

    The CBI was set up under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act in 1946. During its early years under able directors like D.P. Kohli or F. Arul, the organization enjoyed an enviable reputation for transparency and technical competence. Its decline started during the emergency and it became gradually politicized. The Shah commission of inquiry, which looked into Emergency excesses, severely indicted the role of the CBI in a number of cases and perceptively observed that the fairness and objectivity with which an organization functions depends much on the extent to “which the higher executives of the organization are allowed to function freely and objectively and at the same time ensuring its accountability to the statutorily constituted bodies”.

    Section 4 of the Delhi Police Act provides that the CBI must function under the superintendence of the central government. Superintendence does not mean interference or control in the cases investigated by the CBI. In the case of Vineet Narain, better known as the hawala case, the apex court clearly said that superintendence cannot be construed as interference in the investigation of an offence by the CBI and the Central government is precluded from issuing any “directions to the CBI to curtail or inhibit its jurisdiction to investigate an offence”. In the hawala case, the apex court adopted the procedure of “continuing mandamus” that allowed it to issue interim orders from time to time. In his judgment, J.S. Verma put the Central Vigilance Commission in superintendence over the CBI. But, the CVC Act 2003, provided that the CVC will exercise superintendence over the CBI only regarding cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Thus the control of the CVC over the CBI is partial and shared. The recording of the ACRs is with the government and the superintendence of the CBI in all other cases is with the government.

    Some of the vigilance commissioners have conceded that the maximum the CVC can do is to ask the CBI to register a first information report. In the 2G case the CVC asked the CBI to register an FIR and the CBI did nothing after that for two years until the Supreme Court started monitoring the case. The CBI has indeed multiple bosses. The government exercises administrative control over the CBI through the department of personnel and training. Control is exercised by the government through the administrative power of transfer, promotion, posting and disciplinary control. But the opinion of the law ministry determines the fate of the CBI cases. It is that which manipulates the final decision in any case of interest to the government through the director of prosecution of the CBI who works under its control. The closure of the Bofors case is an example.

    Under fire from the Supreme Court, the government is now planning to resurrect the Central Bureau of Investigation Act, 2010, which has been gathering dust. But it has to be drastically revised. A purposeful legislation must lay down a transparent procedure for the selection of the director, CBI as against the existing practice of the director being selected by a panel comprising the Central vigilance commissioner as chairperson, vigilance commissioners, the home secretary and the personnel secretary as members. The selection should be done by a panel comprising the prime minister, the Opposition leader, the chief justice of India, or a judge nominated by him. The CBI should be led by competent self-respecting officers known for their concern for the interest of the citizens and the country. Lesser men as heads of the organization, as emphasized in the report of the Shah commission, will be a disaster.

    At present, the director of the CBI as per the directives of the courts in the Vineet Narain case, has a fixed tenure of two years from the date on which he assumes office. This can be made into three or five years. The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States of America has a tenure of 10 years. But there will be clear stipulation that on retirement he will be debarred from holding any office under the government. The appointment of the CBI director as a governor of a state or a member of the national human rights commission is a very wrong and undesirable precedent. This enables the government to dangle carrots before the incumbents to win their allegiance.

    The law enacted by Parliament should insulate the CBI from extraneous pressures and make it functionally independent. There are models in other countries which can be suitably adopted. It has been suggested that the CBI director be given an independent constitutional status. He should function independently like the comptroller and auditor general and his report will be laid before Parliament so it is kept informed of the activities of the chief investigating authority of the country.

    Another alternative is to keep the CBI under parliamentary control and Parliament should oversee the functioning of the CBI through a committee. The CBI on the pattern of the Australian model could be made accountable and answerable to the committee as adapted to Indian conditions. Parliamentary control will give the CBI certain advantages. The committee will represent all or at least all the major parties both from the treasury and Opposition benches so that it will be difficult for the committee to give illegal or irregular orders to the CBI. It will also make the functioning of the CBI more transparent. Without extraneous interference the CBI has done laudable investigation in cases relating to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, the Mumbai blasts of 1993, and many other cases. The time has come to restore the credibility of the CBI and make it an effective instrument for combating corruption. The caged parrot must start singing again.

    However, for combating corruption the thorough investigation of cases by an independent and competent agency is an important requirement but not the only one. It has to be followed by a quick trial and realistic punishment of the venal public servants. Cases of many corrupt politicians are meandering along for decades in the courts of law with a consequent erosion of public confidence in the criminal justice system.

    Liberating the CBI

    *************************************

    A thought provoking article.

    But how can the beautiful and obedient parrot be left uncaged?
     
  2.  
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Jaitley slams CBI for ‘biased’ investigation

    The BJP yesterday lashed out at the CBI, questioning its credibility and impartiality after the agency framed senior leader Gulab Chand Kataria for his alleged role in the 2005 Sohrabuddin encounter case in Gujarat.

    The report that implicates Kataria comes a few months ahead of state elections in Rajasthan. The report surprised many in the BJP. "Kataria was upset, but he is not Yeddyurappa. He is not the type to walk out and seek the help of Congress," said a party source.

    It is also interesting that the Ashok Gehlot government is fighting a strong anti-incumbency. In 2008, Gehlot came to power, thanks to rebel BJP leader. Experts feel he may use the same strategy in the Kataria case.

    It is for this reason that BJP targeted the CBI over the government after it implicated Kataria and gave a clean chit to former railway minster Pawan Bansal. "How can the CBI say they have no evidence against Bansal? That too, they have made this statement when investigations are on. The agency cannot be relied upon for getting the truth," said BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

    "The CBI charge-sheet against Kataria is without any basis. He is known for his credibility. The case is being pursued by the CBI with the intention of implicating senior BJP leaders at the behest of the Congress," he added.

    The leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha said throughout the investigation in the case, the CBI was continuously changing facts. "First it concluded that the encounter was organised at the behest of the builders in Gujarat. When its case was weakened and Amit Shah got bail, it picked a different theory," said Jaitley.

    The senior BJP leader also cited a 2010 CBI communication that showed the agency wanting to pursue the case against Gujarat leader Amit Shah only as it believed it would lead up to Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    Jaitley also said dubbed the Group of Ministers set up to insulate the CBI from interference as an eyewash. "There is no need to start afresh. The Lokpal Bill passed by Lok Sabha also has provisions on autonomy to CBI. An amendment in the Special Police Establishment Act is sufficient," he said.

    Jaitley slams CBI for ‘biased’ investigation - Mumbai Mirror
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    No CBI questioning of ex-railways minister Pawan Bansal for now

    The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) now seems not to be in a hurry to question former railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in the posts-for-money scam.

    Although officials had earlier indicated that he was to be questioned soon after the controversy became public, the agency now wants to scrutinise all the documents and taped conversations before quizzing the former minister.

    CBI has sent the intercepted telephonic conversations for forensic analysis, as it is the main source of evidence. The probe is proceeding on the basis of the names and contracts mentioned in the taped talk. CBI had also got documents from the railways ministry on the contracts mentioned in the conversation between four of those arrested - Mahesh Kumar, who was member-staff, Railway Board; Vijay Singla, nephew and close aide of Bansal, and middlemen Narayan Rao Manjunath and Sandeep Goyal.

    The agency will start probing other appointments in the Railway Board since 2009 only after it was close to completing the current inquiry, a senior official said. CBI has 90 days to file a chargesheet in this case. It has completed interrogating all the nine men arrested; they are in judicial custody till the next hearing on the coming Monday.

    The case in this regard had been registered on May 3 against all the nine accused on charges of criminal conspiracy and bribery. Kumar is said to have agreed to obtain Rs 2 crore as illegal gratification from Manjunath and other businessmen dealing with the Railways to pay bribes to Singla's associates, in exchange for a posting in the electrical department. CBI is likely to add more charges and names to its list of accused.

    Meanwhile, the agency has got Anil Kumar Sinha as its Special Director, succeeding V K Gupta as second in command. He is a 1979 batch Indian Police Service officer from the Bihar cadre, having come from a Central Vigilance Commission posting.
    No CBI questioning of ex-railways minister Pawan Bansal for now | Business Standard
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    CBI, RPF associations trade charges against each other

    The CBI has complained to the railway board against a retired railway protection force (RPF) officer for occupying three official accommodations in alleged violation of service rules.


    US Jha, who is also an officer bearer of the All India RPF Association, a union of the employees of the force, has refuted the charge saying it's a case of vendetta.

    Jha said that he may file a defamation case against CBI director Ranjit Sinha in this regard.

    Sinha served as the RPF chief for almost 30 months and there is a history of bad blood between the CBI chief and the RPF association.

    "The CBI had informed the Railway Board in April, 2013 that a retired officer holding post of all India secretary general, RPF (who had retired in 2010) was allegedly personally occupying two government accommodations and was also in possession of one more accommodation allotted to All India RPF Association," said the CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra.

    Rebutting any charge of vendetta, Mishra said sharing any information about the misuse of public money for necessary action by the concerned department is a normal practice and duty of the CBI.

    Jha told HT that there was no misuse of accommodations as they were allotted to the association by the railway ministry.

    Jha claimed he had complained against Ranjit Sinha before the Central Vigilance Commission about alleged corrupt practices and that the CBI's complaint against him is just vendetta.

    CBI, RPF associations trade charges against each other - Hindustan Times
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Kataria Case a Conspiracy, GoM an Eyewash: BJP

    A day after its leader Gulab Chand Kataria was chargesheeted in Sohrabuddin encounter case, BJP today accused CBI of working at Congress' behest to implicate its members under a "well-planned conspiracy" and dubbed as an eyewash the setting up of GoM to insulate the agency from political interference.

    Rejecting all charges against Kataria, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly, BJP President Rajnath Singh said the party stands behind him and will expose attempts of CBI and Congress both "legally and politically".

    BJP has levelled these charges against CBI at a juncture when the agency is facing the heat from the Supreme Court for allowing vetting of the status report in the coal scam case by then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

    Government had announced formation of a Group of Ministers yesterday to look into ways of making the agency independent. BJP, however, termed the move as an "eyewash".

    Singh, flanked by BJP Rajasthan unit chief Vasundhara Raje and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, said these cases are part of a "well-planned conspiracy".

    "The CBI chargesheet against Kataria is without any basis. He is known for his propriety and credibility. There is not a shred of truthful evidence against him. The case is being pursued by CBI with the intention of implicating senior BJP leaders at the behest of the Congress," Jaitley said.

    Jaitley, an eminent lawyer, maintained that CBI's supplementary chargesheet in the Sohrabuddin case against Kataria- who was Rajasthan Home Minister when the encounter took place- is the third such instance of the investigating agency trying to "implicate" a BJP leader.

    He cited the case of former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah- also in the Sohrabuddin case- and Rajendra Rathore in another encounter case. Jaitley showed CBI documents to insist that the agency had aimed at "implicating" Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi through Shah in 2010.

    Referring to the alleged bribery case against P K Bansal, Jaitley said the evidence against the former Railway Minister is "100 times more" yet the agency is going soft on him.

    "There is 100 times more evidence in case of appointment of Railway Board member and where there is no evidence, they arrest people," Jaitley said, referring to the earlier arrest of Shah.

    He lamented that even before Bansal has been interrogated by the CBI, the agency's director has said there is not much prima facie evidence against him.

    "Now we cannot expect an honest investigation," Jaitley said, adding that attempts are on to protect and defend Bansal.

    Charges against Kataria have come at a time when Assembly elections are just a few months away in Rajasthan. BJP, however, said Kataria will continue as Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and the case will have no impact on its electoral prospects.

    "Congress should not be under the confusion that this case will have any impact on the polls.... They are misusing the institutions. It will not affect us in the elections," Jaitley said.

    Drawing parallels with Gujarat, Jaitley said, "Congress should realise by now that we are not affected by misuse of CBI. The more they misuse CBI, the more we will benefit in elections. In Gujarat they have misused CBI, you have seen the results."

    Dismissing the GoM on making CBI independent of any political interference, Jaitley said the discussion on the issue is over and the Select Committee of Parliament has given its recommendations which were also approved by the Cabinet.

    He said the Lokpal Bill has a schedule on giving more autonomy to CBI and suggestion for amending the Delhi Police Establishment Act.

    "There is no need to start it again from the beginning. The discussion has ended," he said.

    BJP rubbished CBI charges that Sohrabuddin was killed in an encounter at Shah's behest to help marble traders who were facing extortion threats from him.

    He termed the probes into the cases involving Shah, Kataria and Rathore as "shoddy" and having several "contradictions".

    "There is a question mark on the honesty and professionalism of this organisation and the country will have to think about it," Jaitley said.
    Kataria Case a Conspiracy, GoM an Eyewash: BJP | news.outlookindia.com
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The above does give a birds eye of the way the caged parrot perches on its bar and nibbles at the birdseed given by the owner! :rofl:

    Reminds me of the book Treasure Island, of the pirate Long John Silver and the parrot Captain Flint,

    "Pieces of Eight,"

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  8. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    6,359
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    New Delhi
    The first step starts when you put a crooked man as the Chief of CBI. An honest and upright man like Seshan or Vinod Rai will never be appointed to this post.

    Even in the case of the Railway Minister, the case was a direct fallout of the desire of the CBI chief to even the score with Mahesh Kumar of IR. By the time the CBI chief knew about the Bansal involvement the car was out of the bag and he could not do anything.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Originally, UN Biswas, the then CBI Joint Director (East), was probing the scam and was asked to report to the Patna High Court. It was in connection with a PIL that Sushil Modi, now Bihar Deputy Chief Minister, and others had filed. But for some strange reason, the CBI report placed before the Patna High Court prior to framing of charges was authored by Ranjit Sinha, the then DIG (CBI). Allegedly, the then CBI Director Joginder Singh had sent a fax to UN Biswas instructing Biswas not to report to the court but to Singh. Biswas was scandalised and told the Patna High Court division bench on October 3, 1996 that report submitted by Ranjit Sinha was doctored. It had diluted the charges and done away with conspiracy angle. Biswas claimed that the original report prepared by him had more damaging material.

    Hindustan Times ran a two-day story October 4 and 5, 1996 titled ‘CBI headquarter drastically altered fodder scam report’.

    “As soon as the court assembled, the judges went through the report, submitted in a sealed cover, by the CBI. Then they enquired from Biswas whether it was actually his report, as the language of the text seemed different from his earlier report. Moreover, all the pages on the report were not signed by Biswas, although in his earlier report, he used to sign on every page, the judges pointed it out.

    “Biswas said that he had sent his report to New Delhi after being instructed to do so by the CBI headquarters. The report which was eventually sent to CBI headquarters to be submitted before the High Court was entirely different, so he refused to append his signature on it. However, he had signed on the cover page of the report as he was duty-bound to do so. The report submitted before the court was prepared by Ranjit Sinha whose role has also come under a shadow of doubt. The Sinha report, in fact, had been reproduced verbatim with one or two words changed, Biswas quipped.”

    The judges SN Jha and SJ Mukhopadhyay were agitated over this and took a serious view of this suppression of fact. Biswas informed judges that he had the copy of the original report and handed over to them in the open court. Biswas’s prudence of keeping a copy had saved the day. The court reposed confidence in him, and approved his report as authentic.

    The Patna High Court passed strictures against the CBI Director Joginder Singh for trying to scuttle the probe into fodder scam. Singh, however, denied that he had faxed any instruction to Biswas. The CBI even moved Supreme Court terming the action of Patna High Court as ‘judicial activism’ that threatens the hierarchy system of the CBI.

    The Patna High Court’s stricture against the then CBI Director came as major embarrassment to the premier anti-Corruption agency. It was an endorsement that the post of Director has been reduced to handmaiden of politicians. Ironically, as disgraced Ranjit Sinha today holds the post of Director worst perception about CBI has been confirmed.

    In November 2012, controversy surrounded the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the CBI Director. The BJP opposed it. Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha wrote a letter to the Prime Minister arguing that the Select Committee on Lokpal had recommended a collegium to select a CBI chief. Thus the Government should refrain from appointing one unilaterally. The Prime Minister rejected their contention.


    A CBI Director’s shady past | Niti Central


    ***********************

    If this report is true, then Rahnit Sinha would be a very successful surgeon since he is great at surgically doctoring whatever is given to him.

    One wonders why our squeaky clean MMS appointed this man to a job that has its hands full investigating the serial scams that have plagued the country and the various false encounters.

    A rather squeaky decision.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  10. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    6,359
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    New Delhi
    BJP for all it's faults has been proactive in opposing the appointment of Congress lackeys to important positions.

    The case of the CVC is still fresh and yet the Govt. went ahead with a tainted officer like Sinha.
    With this background I do not see any Government in a hurry to let the CBI become autonomous.
     
  11. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    6,359
    Likes Received:
    3,665
    Location:
    New Delhi
    @Ray Sir,

    Ranjit Sinha was appointed head of RPf by the then Railway Minister Laloo Yadav-- obviously a thank you for the Fodder scam case, and it was hinted in one of the Newspapers last week his appointment as the head of CBI was pushed through by 10 Janpath and Ahmed Patel. With a plethora of Scams facing the Govt. they obviously would have wanted a Chief like Sinha.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
    parijataka and Ray like this.
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Now note the constituting of the GoM members

    The ideal smoke screen combination that will be high on verbiage and low in content.

    And now see the shivers that has gone down the CBI directors spine.

    How can the CBI become 'rogue' if superintendence by Parliament or Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) or the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) is there or even that of the Lokpal, as and when the Bill is passed!

    It will only ensure that rogues are not able to indulge in thuggery that can be done currently and will prevent people being pliant with an eye on post retirement bureaucratic 'plundering' by usurping sinecure posts flush with perks and priveleges!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
    parijataka, Patriot and sob like this.

Share This Page