The Proven Disrepair of Indian Officialdom over CBI vs. CBI

No sooner the CBI Chief Alok Verma was divested of his powers than the opposition took the staple to its advantage and started a blitz over the ruling BJP government. To counter the same, in defense, the government, said that that the orders given at the wee hours on October 23, 2018, were indispensable to maintain the institutional integrity and credibility of India’s investigation agency. The government has also expressed its commitment to safeguard CBI in not becoming a scorn as few of the officers have made it in the last few days. In the meantime, M Nageshwar Rao, the joint director, took charge of the agency and ordered a slew of transfers, including of those officers who were probing the alleged corruption charges against Rakesh Asthana.

Central Bureau Of Investigation New Director Is M Nageshwar Rao

While stealing a look into the details of this case, it could be recalled that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an investigating officer and steered searches at its own headquarters on October 22, 2018, a week after registering a case against its second top official, Rakesh Asthana. This incident was followed by many developments that pointed to an unparalleled implosion at India’s top investigating agency — CBI. A year before, in October 2017, Asthana was appointed as CBI’s special director. He has commanded several cases such as the AgustaWestland scam, the coal scam and the probe against liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

It is worth mentioning here that in the past, he also headed a SIT to probe the 2002 Godhra Sabarmati Express burning case. Of course, there is no need to mention that he has given Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat chief minister, a clean chit in the communal violence that arose.

According to media reports, raids were also conducted at the CBI Headquarters in New Delhi even in the morning of October 24, 2018. Usually, the ED takes over the probe when a money trail is established. So, it is likely that the case will be handed over to the ED.It is not the first time that CBI has been facing criticism. None other than the Supreme Court of India, in the past, has criticized the CBI for being a caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice. This was criticized due to its extreme political meddling irrespective of which party transpired to be in power at the time.

In the past, just because of the CBI’s political insinuations, it has been exposed by former officials such as Joginder Singh and B. R. Lall as engaging in nepotism, wrongful prosecution, and corruption.

Typically, cases assigned to the CBI are highly sensitive and of national importance. It is a standard practice for state police departments to register cases under its dominion. The central government may transfer a case to the CBI if feels needed. Such is the importance bestowed on the part of the functioning of the CBI. However, if the case itself is CBI Vs. CBI — where will the case land? The ongoing CBI Vs. CBI case is something that denotes a situation of the fence eating the crop.

In the world panorama, certain things would drag the nation’s prestige to the dump yard. In my perspective, year after year the veneration that the country has in the domain of world’s vista is waning with such annoying developments.

As far as the latest available statistics are concerned, India ranked as the 81 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. I am not sure if the country has reserved its position intact in any other arena or not, but it has surely secured an unbroken rank among the most corrupted nations — India has averaged 75.57 in Corruption Rank from 1995 until 2017. These statistics itself speak about the present condition of India.

In Lall’s book, Who Owns CBI, he minutiae how investigations are manipulated and derailed. Bowing to the declarations made by Lall through his book, it could be envisaged that there is a veiled itinerary behind the midnight developments. Whatsoever the case may be — such unsolicited things as the ongoing CBI Vs. CBI case would definitely weaken the standing of the country. Indubitably, this case has proven disrepair of Indian officialdom, once again!

–   Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi