Not just Alok Verma, integrity eludes even the Centre

Not just Alok Verma, integrity eludes even the Centre

You can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him drink is a proverb which means that you can give someone an opportunity but not force them to take it That is ageold wisdom

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink” is a proverb which means that you can give someone an opportunity but not force them to take it. That is age-old wisdom. The Supreme Court gave the Centre an opportunity to rectify its omissions and commissions vis a vis the CBI mess and directed it to prove its commitment to retaining its integrity. Yet, it has made this a missed opportunity.

The appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla, 58, as the head of the not so prestigious premiere investigative agency of this country, is a mockery of the system once again. Let us recall what the government had to say in defence of its removal of the former chief, Alok Verma, from the post and in posting him as the chief of Fire Services (as its Director General): “not acted with the integrity expected of him”.

If integrity was what was lacking in former CBI chief Alok Verma, the same quality seems to remain elusive even in the government. Rishi Kumar Shukla too neither has any experience in investigating corruption cases nor has any extraordinary qualities to push him to one of the top posts of the country. If seniority is the only criteria, it must be remembered that seniority in a particular field or specialisation is required.

It is not just about overall seniority in the service. Questions would naturally be raised now over the present selection because Rishi Kumar Shukla had served all along in Madhya Pradesh and is currently the chairman of Madhya Pradesh Police Housing Corporation, a post usually filled up by State governments, with party leaders whom the Chief Ministers want to favour.

In addition, Rishi Kumar Shukla has to his credit, a spat with the Congress leaders in his CV, which might have helped him now to secure the coveted post of the CBI chief. He was removed from the post of Director General of Police by the Congress regime in Madhya Pradesh. This is the cause for the raised eyebrows now. If the Congress has expressed its displeasure over his appointment as soon as the announcement was made on Saturday, it is not without reason then.

It is said that his name was chosen from a shortlist of over 30 contenders for the top post by a committee comprised of Mallikharjuna Kharge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The Cabinet Committee of Appointments could have conveniently chosen him as Rishi Kumar Shukla is said to be close to National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. If the apprehensions of the Opposition turn true, there will be no behavioural change on part of the CBI even now.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently advised the investigating officers (referring to money laundering cases against Chanda Kochhar) to abstain from adventurism. Who is to check Centre's adventurism with the CBI? We now hear that Kolkata Police chief is on the radar of the CBI. Who knows, tomorrow it could be the police chief of AP, Bihar, Kerala.

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