CBI Quagmire

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Oct 2018 14:27:35

THE country’s most important investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found itself in the most unfortunate phase of its life ever. Everything that is happening now in the agency is showing how its systems have been corroded over time and how corruption, actual or perceived, has played an ugly role in reducing its effectiveness. Though the malaise has surfaced now, it is obvious that the CBI has remained afflicted by it for a long time, though silently. For, the charges that are now flying all over within the agency indicate a deep-seated and cancerous malaise whose remission nobody seems to have tried ever. This quagmire is something that had to come out in the open so that appropriate correction could be made. That it has happened now, thus, is welcome in the sense some sensible cleansing can be effected and the agency’s efficiency could be restored.


“Caged parrot” was one epithet that caught popular fancy when the honourable Supreme Court gave that name to the CBI. It simply meant, the CBI does whatever the Government tells it to do. The epithet hurt, since there were many people who had expected and believed the agency to be an epitome`of clean collective conduct. But allegations of the agency’s political allegiance to the party in power came from all sections of the political community. Those in Opposition levelled the allegations and those in the ruling side denied the charges. Then sides changed eventually, but allegations kept flying high and rabid.

In addition to the ‘political’ allegations, there also were allegations of corruption and that nobody could prove. And now exactly those allegations are surfacing with menacing effect on the public mind. The common people feel terribly disturbed that the country’s most critical investigating agency is afflicted by grim infighting and charges of corruption. The people believe that this should never have come out in the public domain, and the authorities in the agency and the Government should have sorted things out within the confines of official systems.


But whatever is happening now is welcome, to say the least. For, when allegations assume such an ugly shape and size, then it becomes necessary to get the system cleansed ruthlessly. It appears now that the Government is serious about mending things in a firm manner, which is evident from the way in which it has ordered some transfers of high officers of the CBI and sent a couple of officers on forced leave. As it made the move, the Government made it clear that extraordinary and unprecedented situation forced it to take stern measures, which will help in a non-partisan probe into the whole quagmire.


There is no need to take sides at this stage since charges of wrongdoing are being levelled against officers across the inner spectrum of the CBI. The Government has appointed Mr. M. Nageshwar Rao as the interim Director of the CBI. He is considered a man of above-the-board reputation. It has sent Director Mr. Alok Verma and Special Director Mr. Rakesh Asthana on forced leave and transferred some others here and there. All these moves have followed recommendation from the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).

This was something that was needed to be done urgently. All these moves could have been made earlier as well. Yet, as the Government has made those, there are reasons for common people to expect initiation of the cleansing process. No matter politically-driven allegations, the CBI has been one agency that has acquitted itself well all along. It has proved itself more than equal to the task at hand, its official mandate. That reputation of the CBI has to be regained, its old glory has to be restored. Let us hope that the process of restoration of order takes place soon enough and well enough.