The editorial “Bofors has risen again” (Jan. 6) is perfect advice for investigative journalists. It is a proud moment for The Hindu that photocopies of what it published in investigating the issue were taken into consideration, along with other material, in what constitutes the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) Order. Investigative journalism should not become a sensational column or a detective story but must be a record of evidence that sheds light on an issue without room for doubt.
On the one hand, we have the principal investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), trying to wind up the case while, on the other, we have an ITAT Order that raises more queries on how the investigation has gone so far. It only shows the lack of coordination among various government agencies. In cases of malpractice that involve crores of rupees, it is essential that all agencies concerned share information and follow a common approach.
The editorial highlights the role of the media, especially The Hindu, in unearthing and documenting massive corruption in a crucial defence deal. Unfortunately, today, we find a lack of the same verve, vigour and zeal that went into investigating Bofors. Are the media afraid of a backlash from vested interests? Perhaps The Hindu needs to take the lead again.
That the CBI is still making concerted moves to scuttle the case against Ottavio Quattrocchi in deference to its political masters raises many important issues. It is indeed right to call it the Bofors' ghost, as highlighted in the cartoon (Jan. 5).