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CBI chief in the dock

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CBI Chief in The Dock. Ranjit Sinha, the country-'s topmost investigator in his capacity as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, is in...

The basic thing is that Ranjit Sinha as the topmost investigating officer has shown a certain degree of brazenness regarding inappropriate conduct. He has shown a devil-may-care attitude and violated all norms of probity

Ranjit Sinha, the country's topmost investigator in his capacity as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, is in the dock. The gravity of the charges against him can be measured from the fact that the Supreme Court is contemplating setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in this matter.

This would be perhaps for the first time that an investigator himself is becoming the subject of a probe. But then those who have been following Sinha's acts of omission and commission right from the time he was appointed to this post in December 2012 are hardly surprised that things have come to such a pass. After all, it was during his tenure as its chief that the CBI had to make a request to the apex court that it wanted freedom from its status as a 'caged parrot.' Considering that all governments have used the CBI for their political purposes, this admission of its flawed status is certainly some kind of an aberration.

To resist pressure from the government of the day is part of the CBI's job description and to go public with its "helplessness" is also a direct admission of its incompetence to handle these pressures. The fact that this plea was made in the context of the same cases in which he could face an investigation ordered by the Supreme Court only serves to highlight Sinha's incompetence. But in the instant case where documentary evidence about the "unwanted" visitors at his official residence has been submitted to the court and he has shown an initial reluctance to file an affidavit and also made an unsuccessful request to restrain the media from going public with the details, the problem seems to have a different dimension. The basic thing is that Sinha as the topmost investigating officer has shown a certain degree of brazenness regarding inappropriate conduct.

He has shown a devil-may-care attitude and violated all norms of probity. As they say, Caesar’s wife has to be not only above suspicion, there has to be such a public perception as well. Perhaps, one of the reasons for Sinha's conduct is the assurance of tenure till December. The idea that the CBI Director should have a fixed tenure has been put in place to ensure that the job is performed without fear or favour. However, it appears that he has taken it as some kind of a licence to cross all boundaries. Within a week, the matter would be heard again by the apex court, and if the case moves against Sinha or he is even censured in some way, then it certainly does not augur well for the people's faith in the CBI. After all, it happens every day that whenever there is a doubtful case at the state level, people demand a CBI probe. Any adverse action against the CBI Director would erode that faith.

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