Autonomy and accountability are two sides of the same coin. Autonomy without accountability and accountability without autonomy are meaningless. The argument that autonomy for the CBI will lead to police raj (“Reinventing the autonomy wheel,” July 10) is not acceptable. In all developed and matured democracies, investigative agencies are insulated from unwarranted interference and held accountable by effective oversight. Excessive, unwarranted and partisan interference is one of the reasons for the malfunctioning of our criminal justice system. Giving professional autonomy and ensuring objective accountability are essential for restoring people’s confidence in the criminal justice system.

P.J.S. Sudhakar Naik, Medak

Harish Khare acknowledges that the CBI is used as a tool by the ruling party to settle political scores. Yet he opposes attempts to make it autonomous. His fears of an autonomous CBI leading to a police raj are highly misplaced as the Supreme Court’s intent is autonomy from the political bosses, not absolute autonomy. Although the CBI’s autonomy will not guarantee professionalism, its independence is definitely a pre-condition for it.

Pranav Shekhar, New Delhi

Absolute autonomy for the CBI, as the article says, may prove counterproductive in many ways. But its subservience to political bosses is not glorious either. Providing autonomy within the framework of the constitutional machinery is the need of the hour.

We need not put our faith in the infallibility of the CBI director. A person’s past record and working patterns will surely help in determining his integrity.

Dixit Sharma, Haryana

Non-interference by the political class is enough to ensure the CBI’s independent functioning. The need of the hour is a strong political leader who can treat the CBI as a reliable investigation agency, not as the government’s best friend in its vendetta games.

Padmaneri V. Sivanand, Tirunelveli

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