While the stay is a breather for the CBI and the government, the CBI has only itself to blame for the creation of notoriety in the minds of the general public which dreads the agency, not necessarily out of respect for it.
It is high time the premier agency is given unconditional autonomy and undisputed constitutional status and freed from its political leash. Its recruitment policy must be purely on merit, with a ban on lateral appointments.
The “off-the-wall” judgment of the Gauhati High Court is sure to stir up a hornet’s nest for the present, but in a sense is a blessing in disguise. It is an eye-opener. The Supreme Court itself has on numerous occasions recognised the agency’s role and assigned it a role in probing scams and scandals. Many of these important cases being probed by the CBI are on the directions and under the direct monitoring of the apex court.
On the other hand, the Gauhati High Court verdict is an opportunity for Parliament to revisit the issue of granting functional autonomy for the CBI.