CBI not a police outfit in mufti
SIR, This is with reference to Ashok Kapur’s two-part article, “Tackling corruption”, published on June 28 and 29. With all respect, I beg to disagree with some of his observations, which are somewhat illogical and flawed.
First, it is not a fact that the CBI is a police organization in mufti. Though IPS officers hold the top positions in the organization, the majority of the investigating officers are directly recruited by the CBI and not enlisted under the Police Act. Field investigation of important cases is done by CBI officers.
Second, his comments on the Supreme Court&’s observations for liberating the CBI from political and executive interference betrays a mistaken understanding of the issue. It is a settled principle of law that there should be no interference in the investigation work of the police. This principle was laid down by the Privy Council and reiterated by Lord Denning in the well-known case of Rex vs. Metropolitan Police Commissioner. In a few cases, the Supreme Court has upheld this principle so that police investigation is not hobbled by baneful political interference.
However, the court scrutinizes evidence collected by the police and the manner of investigation during the trial, and in many cases it pulls up the investigating officers for shoddy investigation. But before the submission of the final form, there should not be any interference even by the court in police investigation.
Third, it is not correct to say that policemen are not involved in executive decision-making. A police officer in the field has to take prompt decisions in tense and difficult situations and does not enjoy the luxury of sitting over files for a long time without taking any decision.
The administration has become corrupt and effete because of the nexus between politicians and civil servants, which include senior IAS and IPS officers. The practice of offering coveted post-retirement jobs to officers particularly those who enjoy fixed tenures like the Director IB, Home Secretary, Director CBI etc is totally wrong and should be discontinued forthwith. The appointment of a CBI Director as the Governor of a state or the Defence Secretary as CAG is nothing but dangling carrots to make the officers beholden to the powers-that-be. The best way to revamp the CBI is to make the post of its Director a constitutional office like that of the Chief Election Commissioner or the CAG or put it under the oversight of a powerful parliamentary committee.
I agree with Mr Kapur that the judiciary is encroaching into the domain of the executive. This is an undesirable trend, but poor governance by the executive is paving the way for judicial interference.
Yours, etc., Sankar Sen,
New Delhi, 3 July
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Yours etc. Kurt Waschnig,
Oldenburg (Germany), 3 July