R.K. Raghavan, while praising Sashi Tharoor, has pleaded for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Sunanda Pushkar episode, as though that will be in the interests of Mr. Tharoor (“Truth is the best defence”, January 21).
I would like to say that the Delhi Police — which has had stalwarts such as B.B. Banerjee, P. Rajagopal, Ved Marwah and more recently Arun Bhagat as police chiefs — have done a brilliant job in this case. They sought the help of a panel comprising experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, which is a premier forensic laboratory. They have also gone through the procedures as laid down in the law. Already we have come to know that the death was caused due to an overdose of anti-depressants. The case has now been transferred to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police, and the full enquiry is yet to be completed.
Hence, instead of giving the Delhi Police due credit for their fair and impartial investigation, to suggest that the case be transferred to the CBI is to belittle them in the eyes of the public, to say the least. Mr. Tharoor has appealed to the Union Home Minister to ensure an expeditious conclusion to the probe. To expand it into a CBI probe will mean further harassment for Mr. Tharoor himself.
Again, it is not as though the CBI is the ultimate repository of justice and fair play. We have had brilliant CBI Directors such as D.P. Kohli, F.V. Arul and C.V. Narasimhan. But then, we are also aware of CBI chiefs who were in the public perception servile, eager to toe the line of the political bosses, publicity oriented, indecisive and clever at warding off situations wherever controversial cases were involved.
Again, it is not as though the officers of the CBI are heaven-born; they are on deputation from the States, except the permanent CBI cadre officers. In the State Police again there have been brilliant officers of outstanding competence, and integrity, adopting always a fair and impartial approach in the investigation of cases or handling situations. Hence, as long as I was the DGP of Tamil Nadu I never allowed cases to be transferred to the CBI — unless ordered by a court of law.
Ultimately, what is important is that police officers, whether of the State or the CBI, adopt correct legal procedures. Some of them have the backing of Supreme Court rulings and are not influenced by any extraneous considerations. We salute them. May their tribe grow in the police force.
(The writer is a retired member of the Indian Police Service and Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu)