CBI- Closed Bureau of Investigation

CBI- Closed Bureau of Investigation

Two of the recent actions of the CBI have helped it reach the lowest level of its credibility. The first of these is the Sikh rioting case of 1984 and the second the most recent one is the equally infamous Bofors. So much so that they have added much credence to the words of voluble Amar Singh when he calls the CBI as the Congress Bureau of Investigation. Thankfully, even the Congress Party does not do much to dispel this notion when one of its senior leaders, Digvijay Singh, who has remained the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for two consecutive terms comes out in open to threaten another Chief Minister by showing the deadly fangs of this Institution, in almost the same tone and tenor that Shashi Kapoor's words had when he had delivered those famous lines in Deewar- "Mere paas Maa hai" (I have mother with me). Thus while the police inspector in that film had his mother to shield him, the Congress (or for that matter any ruling establishment) seems to have the CBI as their last refuse.

Let us first look at what the CBI did in the 1984 rioting case. Everyone knows that Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler along with the now deceased H K L Bhagat went openly out not only to assist the rioters, but to initiate and propagate the entire event, which was no less a state-orchestrated pogrom than the Gujarat riots. The purpose of these people were two-fold. The first was to use the situation to produce a Hindu-Sikh divide and to use this voter's polarization to their advantage in the coming Lok sabha elections. successfully. But more important was to gain some brownie points in the eyes of Rajiv Gandhi whose infamous statement about the little tremors as a result of a falling Banyan tree had already made his preference clear. This triumvirate, along with several other lesser minions played havoc for days in the most dirty and dastardly fashion. Yet, it takes the CBI more than 25 years to come to any conclusion. And what results do they arrive at- that there is not enough evidence again Kumar and Tytler. This too again at a time when the General elections are in process and the Government is not sure of its retuning back. Could there be a more blatant example of the clear-cut misuse of the powers of the CBI? This entire act was managed so secretly that it could have simply passed unnoticed. It took a shoe to be thrown at the Home Minister for the Nation to know of this chicanery. The CBI is still speaking in double tones as regards the case, to much so that no one knows where exactly it stands on this issue. If this is what the CBI has brought its stature and reputation to, it has no one except itself to blame.

The second case is no less more glaring. Bofors is a chapter that the Gandhi-Nehru family would never like to remember. Yet, this weapon has the inbuilt capability of bouncing back. The latest in this series of headlines in the long list of deliberate mishandling is the act of the CBI of asking the Interpol to drop the name of Ottavio Quatroccchi from the list of the most wanted persons. How could the CBI do this to our Nation? in a case that has become the byword for corruption at the highest level, in which even the then Prime Minister himself was accused and even implicated in the earlier stage of investigation, and where it is common knowledge that Quatrocchi played the chief facilitator of this sleaze, does it suit the CBI to act as a benefactor to the same person who owes so much explanation to us? Again, here, as in many other cases in which CBI plays the hide and seek game in its two-forked manner, while clearing the name from Interpol list, the CBI goes to the Court and asks for two months time to decide on the further course of action. What is this? What right do the officers of this investigative agency have to reduce it to a farce?

The CBI's performance in all the cases of political nature has been very poor, at least in the last few years. Whether it is the Mulayam Singh Yadav disproportionate assets case or Mayawati's Taj corridor and DA case, the CBI has been seen to be shifting its stand as per the political weather. When the person is out of favour with the Central government, the agency suddenly acquires wings and starts playing the prosecutor with the highest sense of urgency and alacrity. But the moment the same person becomes inevitable for the government, with the power of influencing its policy decisions, the CBI starts playing a radically different tune. Is this what is expected from a body like the CBI? Is this anything less than being shameful?

These are the questions the CBI will have to think over and will have to answer, not only to itself but to the entire country. And it shall never expect the Government of the day to come to its assistance in this regards. this is because every government would always love to use the CBI to achieve its political goals and would never hesitate to dictate it as long the organization is willing to oblige.

But had the CBI officers joined this premier organization to enjoy its privileges, perks and prestige only to pawn their conscience before these hankering and hovering politicians?

Dr Nutan Thakur
IRDS, Lucknow

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