CBI without autonomy
That the CBI has had to tell the Supreme Court that it is having difficulty in functioning as an independent investigating agency shows that the...
That the CBI has had to tell the Supreme Court that it is having difficulty in functioning as an independent investigating agency shows that the Centre is not yet ready to let go of its hold on the agency. Pertinently, in the Coalgate investigations the apex court had directed the agency to submit its status reports to the court directly and not to let them be vetted or scrutinized by any Central government department or official.
Subsequently, the Centre had assured the court that it was fully cooperating with the agency in the investigations into coal blocks allocations. If still on Tuesday the agency found it necessary to submit to the court that it is operating under a “stranglehold of bureaucrats”, it is nothing short of an indictment of the Central Government, with its proposals often returned with 20 objections noted by a head clerk in the department. That also means that with the apex court emphasizing on the need for autonomy for the CBI, the Centre has degraded the agency to the level of a head clerk.
Be that as it may, there is merit in the stand of the agency that its director’s proposals be routed directly to the Minister in charge of the Department of Personnel and Training. But the question still remains why those proposals, probably pertaining to the missing files in the Coalgate Case, need to go to the Minister at all when the apex court has clearly directed that the agency should deal only with it in the investigations into the case, keeping aside all Central government attempts to interfere in the probe.