Opinion » Lead

Updated: July 10, 2013 00:24 IST

Reinventing the autonomy wheel

Harish Khare
Comment (51)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

An independent CBI is neither a pre-condition nor guarantee of professionalism. It may instead lead to a police raj

One afternoon in late April 1997, the Principal Secretary to the then Prime Minister received a call from one of the government’s senior-most law officers wanting an urgent meeting for consultation and directions. The long and short of what the agitated law officer had to tell the Principal Secretary was simple: Justice J.S. Verma had gone off the reservation. That was the time Justice Verma was presiding over the Hawala bench and the country was indignant to its righteous core. The Principal Secretary was surprised to learn that the law officer had been summoned to the Justice’s chamber and given an ultimatum: “the government has 10 days to come up with a credible plan to give up its control over the Central Bureau of Investigation.” Alarm bells rang. An audience was sought with the Prime Minister that very evening. But the new Prime Minister had too many other important matters on his plate and could not be distracted by a Supreme Court judge’s fancy. It was left to the officials to devise a way to humour the rampant Justice.

Charged discourse

In the event, the Hon’ble Supreme Court judge agreed to the law officer’s suggestion that the Principal Secretary (who had acquired a certain fame with his famous “nexus” report) was eminently qualified to be asked to suggest ways of making the premier investigative agency free from “extraneous influences.” N.N. Vohra, in turn, enlisted the services of a former Cabinet Secretary, B.G. Deshmukh, and a former Vigilance Commissioner, S.V. Giri, to cobble together a report, most of which Justice Verma was shrewd enough to incorporate in his famous Hawala judgment of December 1997. That decision, in turn, was hailed as a landmark pronouncement, liberating the CBI from the clutches of the bad “politicians.” Away from the camera, the judge was more than happy to accommodate the legitimate concerns of the government of the day; but, in public, he had invented a highly charged discourse of “autonomy.”

This is being recalled 15 years later because another bench of the apex court is once again trying to reinvent the autonomy wheel. The beleaguered Manmohan Singh government has come up with a convoluted blueprint in order to appease the bench. All of this can only end up in a lose-lose situation for all those stakeholders who are enjoined to preserve and enhance the vitality of the Indian state.

The larger point is that Justice Verma was not a stranger to the political context of the day. Only a naïve soul can believe that judges are or can be insulated from the political controversies or that the highest judiciary remains supremely indifferent to the manufactured narratives of the day. Justice Verma had correctly sized up the I.K. Gujral government’s political precariousness and its meagre respectability. Nor was Justice Verma beyond playing to the gallery. And, that is where trouble reared its ugly head.

Our national experience so far would suggest that autonomy for an investigative agency in a democratic set-up is not only a flawed but a positively dangerous idea. There will always be the Joginder Singhs and the U.N. Biswases who will seek to punch above their institutional weight. An autonomous CBI under such officers can become an anti-thesis to the very goal of good governance. And, nothing illustrates the danger more graphically than the CBI performance in two different cases, the Isharat Jahan fake encounter case and the so-called Coalgate case. In both cases, the CBI has acted more like a bull in a china shop rather than as a professional investigator.

Unseemly spat

The spat between the CBI and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has become so openly unseemly that it can only hurt the Indian state’s long-term interests. The IB argument, and a fair one at that, is that its officer exercised his judgment in evaluating certain intelligence inputs; in retrospect one can question or disagree with that judgment but it is an altogether different matter to insist that the IB officials were a party to the Gujarat Police’s cold-blooded conspiracy. The Ishrat Jahan encounter took place at a time when the security set-up throughout the country was still cheerfully enamoured of the U.S.-devised “9/11” discourse, and the political leadership had calculated considerable electoral dividends if the minorities were made out to be in bed with the global jihadis. Now, out of a sense of organisational loyalty, the IB finds itself having to reveal its hand; reporters are being allowed to “access” the armoire of intercepts, reports. Given the present judicial mood of wanting to set free the caged parrot, the CBI is infused with a false sense of a false mission.

In Coalgate, the agency feels emboldened and empowered by the Supreme Court. But because of its practised pettiness, the agency has succeeded in sullying the image of one of the finest public servants, H.C. Gupta, the former Secretary in the Ministry of Coal. The legend in the senior bureaucracy is that if past and present IAS officers were asked to name three men of rectitude and integrity, Mr. Gupta would probably figure in everyone’s list. Yet this honest officer had to step down as member of the Competition Commission because through leaks and innuendoes, the agency managed to create an impression of criminal wrong-doing on his part. And, then, the agency titillated the public with its “interrogation” of former officials in the PMO.

In fact, autonomy comes down to a police raj, and that, most of the time, means a stupid policeman raj. While it is entirely legitimate for a polity to want to cure itself of corrupt men and corrupting practices, it is time for us to realise how easy it is for a policeman to wave the “corruption” flag and then proceed to take great liberties with the citizen’s privacy and freedom. Only a few months ago we were treated to the great spectacle of the IPL spot fixing; no one was inclined to take note of the frightening and all-intrusive power of detention the Delhi Police chose to exercise, and not just in the capital but in all other parts of the country. Anyone or everyone, it seemed, could be arrested and brought in for questioning, just on the basis of suspicion or hearsay of this or that bookie. And, we all puffed up our righteous chests and pretended to have been morally uplifted, thanks to a bunch of zealous policemen.

As it is, the CBI is an arrangement anchored in unscrupulous calculations and considerations. All political parties which have had a chance to govern in New Delhi saw to it that the agency remained a manageable instrument of control and coercion. Of course, the Congress party gets the loudest rap but only because it has been longer in power; when it got a chance, the BJP was equally suspected of misusing the agency. In fact, within weeks of assuming office, the NDA government sent a CBI director packing because he had dared to send his officers to a prominent businessman’s house.

Virus of over-reach

A developed democracy is defined by its impersonal institutions, manned and headed by professional officers, discharging their mandate within the letter of law. Such institutions develop and thrive on an organisational culture of professionalism, restraint and responsibility. Unfortunately, all our institutions — be it a CAG or a judge — are infected with the virus of over-reach. In this context, our quest for autonomy for the CBI becomes definitely problematic; it is neither a pre-condition nor a guarantee of professionalism, especially in a country which makes such a mountainous virtue of the principle of “seniority.”

It is bad enough that judicial functionaries should take it upon themselves to cleanse the political system; this proclivity has produced its own unintended consequences, ensnaring judiciary in political games. It would not be a wise course to put our faith in the infallibility of a CBI director. Democratic aberrations can be sorted only by democratic processes. The infirmities of a democracy cannot be cured by a policeman, even an uncaged policeman.

(Harish Khare is a senior journalist, political analyst and former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He is currently a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow)

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The narrative of reinventing the autonomy wheel has come out to be a revelation.It propels the readers to how an autonomic cbi would operate and how,one with a state regulatory would.Autonomy to the institution is,in my view, a mere instantaneous action-turned resolution for what the country witnessed in the course of a last few months.A wellstructured comprehensive resolute is to be sought with long term prospectives under reckoning for its intended unadulterated and uninterrupted functioning.Selection of experienced officials, proper incentives to the members could pop up in what could be done for the same.These are my short personal views on the well articulated, corroborated patch of the editorial.Congrats to the author.

from:  Harish
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 13:14 IST

If the governemnt had fired the CBI's chief and his officials as well as the persons in the PMO and other ministries who were involved in compromising the CBI's oroginal report, this issue would have been settled once for all. Senior officials who do not even know that they can't compromise a criminal investigation in this way do not deserve to be in those jobs. This would have set a telling example for a long time to come. Some would say that the governemnt can still do that.

from:  Hoshiar Singh
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 03:22 IST

Nobody is suggesting an unaccountable CBI. Mr. Khare is exaggerating. The notion is to allow the CBI to do criminal investigations professionally and without political interference. The governemnt is free to appoint the CBI head, direct or reorganize the CBI but it must do so openly and publicly. We must put law enforcement officials in a position where they can act competently without favour or fear while reporting to elected officials in matters of broad public policy and interst. It requires separating the particular from the general. Perhpas it is a bit tricky but is done in much of the modern world. India does not need to reinvent the wheel here. Just follow one of the many good examples of separating the political and police functions in the area of law enforcement. That is necessary to build public trust in national institutions. Under such a system, the politicians, the police and the public will be better off.

from:  Virendra Gupta
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 03:03 IST

it seems as though the article is written more by a former media adviser
to pm rather than by an independent journalist

from:  vikrant
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 21:23 IST

There are two disconcerting precedents set forth in this cautiously
articulated article. Firstly, there seems to be a hoopla over a long
anticipated directive by the SC (anticipation is punishingly long in
our nation's case) raising legitimate concerns over the status of the
CBI rather than a well-construed alternative to the Court's decision
(which points to the authors propensity towards maintaining the
abysmal status-quo). Secondly, reprising the readers of the fallouts
due to over reverence of the virtue of 'seniority' if CBI were to
become independent, he interestingly overlooks the inevitable
ensnaring of even senior CBI officers' by the political class in the
name of this hierarchy or seniority. One marvels at the difference
between a Police Raj forecast-ed by the author and the much more
perverse already existing Political Raj where hundreds of innocent
Indians suffer the backlash of preventive detention, mistreatment and
fake encounters for expediency of the political bosses?

from:  Saurabh Kaushik
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 12:49 IST

The nation has already witnessed how much autonomy CBI is enjoying
over the years.The rampant favouritism by the incumbent governments
has led it to act more or less according to the whims and fancies of
the political masters.Today,if there is some judicial overreach by the
highest court to uncage the so called caged agency,then the hue and
cry seems inappropriate.Yes,there are chances of it leading to a
police raj but there seems no second choice.While the apprehensions
are quite genuine,then there could be some provisions of having an
upper hand on the autonomy of the premier investigating agency.There
could be a Lokpal who could keep a close tab on the performance and
handling of cases by it.Only then,we could expect some more
transparency in the system and the political class irrespective of
their position or status would be made to fall into line .

from:  mohit kumar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 11:00 IST

A fully autonomous CBI may be a cure worse than any disease India has had till now. It would be foolish to believe that our elections give power to an unbroken line of the corrupt, while an independent agency would miraculously provide us a similarly unbroken sequence of the incorruptible.
Be it an all-powerful Lok Pal or a CBI sitting in judgement over an elected government, it is unbelievable that the Selected and Entrenched would be a better choice than the Elected and vote-out-able.

I wonder if we are heading for a situation like Iran, where a Council may or may not approve candidates before elections, or like Imperial Japan, where the armed forces could make a government fall at any time by withdrawing its support.

The answers for bad behaviour by politicians lies in citizens exercising their rights to vote, to campaign, and to offer themselves as alternatives in the elections. It would be a sad thing if this country puts its hopes in a few superhumans, rather than in humans.

from:  David Jacob
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 00:56 IST

provision of autonomy, here in this context, doesn't mean that it is
absolute autonomy-that may facilitate a police raj, but rather freedom
from restrictions and immunity from political pressures. here in our
country every wing of administration is being counter checked by the
others. we, in our daily life frequently come across with many
incidents where the police men are being pressurized by local
political leaders to follow certain directions. even CBI director had
accepted this in the Supreme court at national level. many modulations
and manipulations were found in many scam investigations as observed
by the Supreme court in recent times. possible chances for the
establishment of police Raj has also a very little base in the society
where the people are increasingly educated(social rights
activists,students in protests against police delays in recent Delhi
rape case) and all the three wings of administration have been
actively working. we can observe this in countries like USA, UK.

from:  srikanth
Posted on: Jul 11, 2013 at 00:03 IST

It is not much enough to make cbi free of political intervention but the political structure and its components to needed to be filtered publiically

from:  Satyam Tiwari
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 22:42 IST

The author has correctly argued that the CBI would misuse its powers if it had complete autonomy. However, he has not offered any solutions. The question of autonomy for the CBI is raised as it is found that it has become a tool of the party in power to harass political opponents and their supporters while a the same time ensuring that the politicians belonging to the ruling party or their allies are given a clean chit if they ever get into trouble. In the Bofors case, for instance, the CBI did the bidding of the Congress party and allowed the guilty to escape justice.

The CBI can and should be given autonomy to carry out its investigations without fear or favour but to ensure that it does become a law unto itself, there must be oversight by a Parlimentary body that has elected represntatives from both the ruling party and the opposition. Such a Parlimentary body should ensure that the CBI is held accountable for its actions.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 21:59 IST

It is very strange that the author does not even mention about the way
CBI report in coalgate case was modified by the then law minister. In
fact, this incident has caused the honorable supreme court to ask for
autonomy to CBI. In my opinion, the country should have an
investigative agency which is professional, independent of party in
government (parliament as a whole should monitor the agency). Only
then, there will be a fear of being caught and more importantly, only
then that the people of the country will have faith in the CBI reports
and its investigation.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 21:47 IST

A great eye opener of an article.The horrors perpetrated by an unrestrained police during emergency remain fresh in the memories of our elders.Even the FBI works under the control of the President of the
United States and is subjected to various congressional controls.Subversion of democracy under the guise of cleaning the mess in the political system seems to be becoming an overarching aim of our unelected and unaccountable elites.The common folk of the nation will not allow it to happen.

from:  Dhruv
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 20:53 IST

Though it is rightly said that making CBI independent can yeild abuse of power by CBI
top officials but that doesn't imply that present situation is any better. It imperative to
make CBI impartial and fair. Otherwise this goverment system is doomed.
Is author suggesting that motive of judges is plainly asserting their importance ? What
else we can expect from him.

from:  vivek ahuja
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 19:11 IST

The question of whether CBI should be made autonomous or not is to be
seen as a coin with two sides.The positive being that it can act in an
unscrupulous manner while the negative is the power of the few on top
of the bureau can always lead to sycophancy and the usual follow
ups."Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government
those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations,
perverted it into tyranny."

from:  NEERAJ V
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 18:17 IST

All very valid arguments. So many instances of unprofessional investigation. However Is there even one instance of minister or MP convicted? The current model is not working.
Does any body remember Mr Seshan? One EC has created such an independent structure it's still working. If by chance we get such commissioner for CBI, generations will be thankful. We should take this chance

from:  Dhakshinamoorthy
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 18:10 IST

Though some of the points raised by mr.khare may be valid it still holds no argument that police raj will come if CBI is given autonomy. Indian Constitution has its checks and balances. The way the Indian politicians and bureaucrats are behaving unless some strong vigilant body that enforces discipline exists the situation
could not be remedied. Moreover having worked with Prime minister's office for some period Mr. Khare must have been influenced by the environment.

from:  Satyanarayana Ponnaluri
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 18:02 IST

CBI is a prime investigating agency and is expected to make fair and impartial investigation. When it comes to investigating politicians or bureaucrats it runs amuck. It is overzealous to please the ruling caucus either by letting off the culprits in it fold or framing its political rivals. Mr. Khare may remember Justice J C Shah commission's caustic remarks against CBI director D.Sen who, though basically a good professional, bent backwards to accommodate Indira Gandhi in her authoritarian dictates of penalising political rivals like Jay Prakash Narain and others. I think we are proud of an independent Judiciary, CAG and CVG. Why not an independent CBI under the umbrella of an autonomous Lokayukta ? Real Police Raj with present-day-CBI we had during emergency.

from:  Prof K C Mehta
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 17:59 IST

The writer has himself unconsciously pointed that it is necessary to make CBI autonomous.
"the BJP was equally suspected of misusing the agency. In fact, within weeks of assuming office, the NDA government sent a CBI director packing because he had dared to send his officers to a prominent businessman’s house"
If this was the case then the way out is to make CBI autonomous so that whosoever is in power can't misuse it .
Also what I feel is that It is better to live under a fear of police raj than a world of scams.

from:  Ankit Kaushik
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 17:48 IST

With all due respect, I'm ready to live in a society where police raj
prevail than under the beleaguered government whose primary objective is
to loot people and deceive through crippled schemes. and please stop
blaming ManMohan singh (as you say.. beleaguered Manmohan singh
government)for every mistake the center makes

from:  Sai Kumar M
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 16:29 IST

No institution is above the parliament of India (indirectly the people of India). So if the nation's top investigating agency is made accountable to the parliament (instead in to government) then only we can expect some sort of fairness in dealing with the cases. Giving complete autonomy except judiciary system makes country unstable and it will lead to anarchy in future. A good balanced approach by THE HINDU to show the reality.

from:  Raman
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 15:56 IST

Harish khare himself say that both the congress and bjp have misused the
cbi and he doesn't want it to function with out extraneous
influences.The judiciary only wants the cbi to function as an
independent,professional investigating agency and this will in no way
lead to a police raj.

from:  p j sreenath
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 15:42 IST

Isn't it highly suspected that this writer stated a concrete example of misusing CBI by BJP but abstains from such direct remark for Congress.

from:  ambriesh
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 15:41 IST

Is the author trying to say the present system of CBI in direct control of the govt is
better than insulating it ? Under its control, those CBI Directors (and IB Chiefs as
well) in synchronization with political dispensation have been rewarded with
postings in Raj Bhavan. Even the affidavit to SC now made to "decontrol" CBI
envisages a tenure of just 2 years to the CBI Director. This only means,in case his
"performance" is not palatable to the govt's interests, he may not find favor to be
Governor and 2 years time is adequate to assess his suitability in this regard. In
any case, hardly any high profile case of interest to the govt has been brought to
finality by CBI in 2 years.Whether CBI is truly autonomous or not has nothing to do
with States becoming "police raj" or not. After all, somebody has to handover a
case for investigation to CBI, whether independent or not. The militancy in Punjab
would never have been contained without free hand to the State police given by

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 15:23 IST

Another highly biased, one sided article from someone close to the
establishment. Harish Khare does not want change. He instills fear -
like the fear that unbelievers had when the first railroads were laid in
the US. They told of untold misery that these "steel lions" would bring
to the people - but instead they turned out to be instruments of
positive change.

Bowing to the wishes of the readers, it is high time THE HINDU stopped
letting Harish Khare use THE HINDU to promote his political views.

from:  Thomas Johnston
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 14:34 IST

Mr. Khare easily betrays his loyalty in suggesting that CBI should
remain the caged parrot that it is. Denying the CBI even basic
investigative and functional autonomy is denying the citizens their
basic right to justice and strikes at the root of democracy. In these
days of political 'Kaliyug' only an activist Supreme Court can give us

from:  N Vinayak
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 14:23 IST

While Police power of arbitrary arrests based on hearsay should be curbed as the author has suggested, CBI autonomy should be guarded, as the persons working are all IPS officers. There should be check and balance everywhere. Why not in CBI, if it exists in all three arms of government. Lord Acton - Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

from:  Bekaar News
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 14:19 IST

Every nation has one investigating agency on which whole nation rely for
free and fair investigation.What has gone wrong with CBI,is repeated
political interference which has caused downgrade of its image over a
period of time.If judiciary has been showing concern over its falling
image then it should be welcome rather than putting judiciary itself in
to deck.There is need of structural as well regulatory reforms in CBI
and that should be achieved with all parties opinion..

from:  anoop kumar bhardwaj
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 13:50 IST

"Democratic aberrations can be sorted only by democratic processes.
The infirmities of a democracy cannot be cured by a policeman, even an
uncaged policeman."
Completely agree with you, Sir.
It seems our masses are obsessed with Indian masala movies, which
shows -all the corruption being cleaned in 2.5 hrs by a
honest/autonomous hero. But things will not work in that way and it
takes simple common sense to understand that. And the Irony here is,
those who are blaming Mr.Khare here are the ones who admire Mr.Modi,
forgetting how he disarmed the Gujarat Lokpal bill.

from:  haneef
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 13:34 IST

A different outlook on the scenario. Nice.

from:  Kavan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 13:32 IST

Mr. Khare makes no suggestion whatsoever. His only theme seems to be absolute power corrupts - which is true of any organisation/person. What is unseemly is that he chooses to cast a shadow on deceased and eminent members of the judiciary, who cannot defend themselves from beyond the grave. Sad that the Congress government could find no rational argument for its defence, and instead chooses to point fingers at unnamed bureaucrats, opposition members, and the judiciary.

from:  MN Raju
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 13:28 IST

An independent authority accountable to the parliament and judiciary can function efficiently

from:  Chandradasan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 12:55 IST

An over idealistic article in present where there is rampant corruption everywhere. Only a strong lokpal will remove that, which the present govt won't allow.

from:  Neeraj
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 12:49 IST

It bewilders me how a widely respected publication like The Hindu chooses to repeatedly publish blatantly biased opinions of Harish Khare. It is a no brainer to figure out that he is a spokesperson, masquerading as columnist, of certain vested interests in the government. His views are so silly that it is pointless rebutting.

from:  Alok Sharma
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 12:34 IST

For once, i am in full conformity with my fellow commentators in opposing the somewhat convoluted views presented by the author. I for one definitely vote for CBI to become an autonomous investigative agency. It must be accountable to the people in general and to the parliament in particular.

from:  bharath
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 12:28 IST

Every other article from an adviser to Prime Minister seems to be baised to blatantly take side of Government. Either advisers to PM are not smart enough to see complete picture which I doubt is not the case or they are heavily biased for reason best known to them.

from:  Naveen
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 12:17 IST

Although the article is broad based and agreeable on "unlimited
freedom to CBI would be worse", he forgot to highlight some of the key
suggestions in the pending Lokpal Bill which speaks about independent
CBI from government control with accountability to Lokpal to curtail
misuse of freedom. The current suggestions of GOM does not help CBI to
investigate without political pressure . The three retd.judges would
be more prone to political pressure.This is not welcome. Need CBI to
be under the administrative, accountable control of multi-member
Lokpal, like Constitution Bench of SC.

from:  baby karumalloor
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 11:49 IST

Firstly these political class should answer the people why they are not
able to create an anti corruption and prosecution department like Lokpal
with power?

from:  john
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:48 IST

This writer seems to be a lobbyist of this corrupt UPA government. He does
not see the rampant corruption and cover-up practiced by Manmohan Singh
and his cronies. The strongest weapon used to corruption and cover-up is

from:  Chandrakant Marathe
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:38 IST

Mr. Khare should have known better but won't say it for obvious reasons of proximity to
power: that the over-reach by CAG, judges and the CBI have all occurred due to failure of
governance, apathy, unwillingness to take politically unpalatable decisions, avoiding tough
choices that are needed to be discussed and acted upon with resoluteness and lack of
accountability that can all be traced to the administration of the day, which in this case is the
Congress party government which has ruled for a major part of independent India and which
should have shown by example the art of governance to the parties that followed it.

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:25 IST

Ofcourse we may not get perfect democracy from an uncaged police.but the socalled big master atleast will have some fear of law from these police, not caged by them,while misusing nation's resources in the name of democracy. .if that fear of law is coming by Judiciary,then we should welcome it.

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 10:25 IST

Atrocious article in the age of transparency and autonomy. If there are
fears about CBI, appellate forums such as courts can intervene and

If RBI can control monitory policy with autonomy, if our judiciary can
function with autonomy and election commission can guide a country to
elect a government functioning autonomously why not have a autonomous
investigative agency ? All these institutions have made mistakes but no
one has questioned the need to have them enjoy autonomous status. Our
ability as a country to nurture institutions has been good so far.

If there is one example of an honest officer being suspected there are
1000 examples of corrupt officers going unpunished because of

Our aged bureaucrats adorning advisory roles seem to be still in British
mindset of controlling the country by controlling police ! This needs to
change otherwise people will start playing the role of CBI and start
punishing suspect officials leading to anarchy.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:41 IST

Mr Khare believes in using his journalistic effervescence - ending up only with columns full of
idle arrogance.
Autonomy, while bringing greater authority to carry out objectives free from political
interference, also brings greater accountability. Has the CBI ever been held accountable for
its failure - in the true sense? Never. Raps from the judiciary don't amount to accountability.
What POLICE RAJ is he talking about? Arrests need to be sincerely governed by the law -
magistrates need to perform their duties responsibly... This domain is not in the CBI / policing
realm. It is about judicial reform. Bringing in CAG & judiciary clouded the argument.
SOPs and Protocols need to be put in place. Investigative machinery needs to be separated
from police machinery & needs to be modernised with greater forensic skills and technology,
plus better investigative procedures and subject analysis.
CBI's job should only be investigation and laying down reports before prosecuting agencies.

from:  Maulik Mavani
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:27 IST

The autonomous character of CBI needs to be reinvented and reinstalled .It is an essential requirement to free the CBI from the grip of some politicians who are manipulating it .CBI is a life blood of democracy an autonomous body will lead to political stability but at the same time we need to make sure this activism doesnt turn out to be adventurism .

from:  Veeraj Punjabi
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:22 IST

Mr. Khare seems to be talking all about the negatives. There is no talk about putting practices to avoid misuse. And keeping agencies as independent possible. But more concerned about political Babus losing control.

from:  Raman
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 09:00 IST

"Reinventing the Autonomy wheel" Politicians are the big brothers in India capitalists are rulers in our country every problem starts with the politicians and we cannot see the proceedings of those problems and if we see, so duplicate solutions to them. A layman can better explain about politicians in a better way than any other. CBI and IB are the agencies which cleans the corruption unless they are strengthened. Judicial system has weakened in our country to give fair Judgements and the time has come where a common man should lift their spirits to live up in abnormal conditions.

from:  Santhosh patil
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 08:58 IST

mr khare ,with all due respect,it seems politicians and media
moguls really don't want the "caged parrot" free,because if they
do the "caged parrot"may unravel and unlock the "pandora box" of
nepotism ,nexus(corrupt)between politicians and media,which we
all know running scam's over scam's in this country.And ,however,
if you are really feel so dread about autonomy of constitutional
positions then why not about appointment of totally
opaque,unreasonable and sometimes preposterous(in case of p.k
bansal,late Mr.deshmukh & others)appointment of union ministers
generally and cabinet in particular and also questionable
shifting of some(jaipal reddy with veerappa moily).Whole india
needs answers to this.

from:  rohit rajwar
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 08:55 IST

You are an elite and elite do not like any change in a system. CBI, like our politicians, has lost all respect, dont you want to do anything about it?

from:  suneel
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 06:17 IST

For any country more so for a big country like India ombudsman/ CBI is a must and may be under direct and personal supervision, and the President without any bias may direct CBI for any investigation.
This will enhance the prestigious position of the President as well.
\The position of CBI will be one highest rank, and also paid highest similar to all Union Ministers so that no room for any bribery talk or any kind.But it can to into investigation only by authority by the President only on public and not on any MPs, Ministers, since they come special category.It is prevalent in western countries viz FBI /etc.It can inquire on any citizen with abnormal activities towards amassing wealth rather suddenly.Now it can enquire all NRI and Indians having Foreign Bank a/c with or without RBI permission.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 05:42 IST

Mr. Khare suggests that the cbi will become a draconian institution
once given the due autonomy, thus destroying the democratic ethos of
the nation. for this he cites previous wrongdoings of the cbi. well
and good. further mr Khare says that our judiciary and for that matter
the CAG too are afflicted with the problem of over-reach and they must
Then mr khare is perhaps trying to say that the the executive be given
a free hand over the cbi and the checks created by the constitution
such as the judiciary and the cag be gagged. this definitely prevents
a police raj but it most certainly gives rise to an executive raj,
unfettered and unrestrained.

from:  sushant
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 04:11 IST

' A developed democracy is defined by its impersonal institutions, manned and headed by professional officers, discharging their mandate within the letter of law.' -Well said. Indians are used to - unfortunately, from the freedom struggle times - person worships. Institutional structure and the professionalism of institutions are always either overlooked or misunderstood. Most of the institutions are of either underperforming or overstepping nature. Granting autonomy will make the situation even worse. Professionalism of these institutions is the only way ahead for a better nation.

from:  Muthu
Posted on: Jul 10, 2013 at 01:14 IST
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