Talking at the inauguration of a three-day CBI training module for media here on Saturday, Ashwani Kumar, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, refused to comment on the alleged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) links to Ajmer blasts, saying that the matter is under investigation. He refrained from answering queries on investigation in the corruption cases against politicians. “All these cases are referred to the CBI by the Supreme Court. We have presented affidavits to the court regarding them,” he said.
While speaking on the Satyam case, he noted that the CBI team of 64 people had completed the investigation in a record time of 46 days. Satyam was the only case where a company was not allowed to sink. “Lakhs of people had invested their hard-earned money in Satyam. And the fraud was not the company's fault. It was only five to ten people at the top who were involved in the wrongdoings. Why should thousands of other people suffer for that?” he said.
Expressing concern about the growing number of fraudulent cash rich schemes, he said that economic offences wing should be opened in each district to keep a check on those cheating the poor people of their money.
On the problems faced during speedy disposal of cases, he said, “We have very little prosecution staff. Presently there are only 237 prosecutors. We want at least 908 prosecutors for the conviction rate to improve.”CBI's conviction rate has consistently been between 60 to 70 per cent for more than a decade.
He lauded the lone CBI prosecutor for his efforts on the Bhopal gas tragedy case. “Mr. Sahai [the CBI prosecutor] used to single-handedly carry all the papers and books to the court, whereas the defence had a string of big lawyers flying to Bhopal in a special plane to fight the case,” he said. “The CBI has been able to obtain full punishment in the Bhopal case,” he said.
The structural reforms introduced last year in the CBI, to expedite case disposals, include restructuring CBI, and decentralising and delegating powers to the Heads of Zones and Heads of Branches.
71 special courts for the CBIare expected to hold day-to-day trial and to avoid unnecessary adjournments. As model courts, they aim to dispose the cases within two years from the date of filing the charge sheet. For this, every court will handle not more than 50 cases. Each prosecuting officer will handle maximum 50 cases. To curb corruption, Mr. Kumar advocated the creation of Lokpal at the Centre along with Lokayuktas in all States.