|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Transparency needed in CBI's functioning: CVC
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | April 29, 2005 12:25 IST
Central Vigilance Commission Commissioner P Shanker on Thursday raised issues concerning the autonomy of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the CVC's superintendence over the CBI.
In a function organised by the CBI, he expressed the need to evolve ground rules to exercise the responsibility assigned to the CVC vis-à-vis CBI by the Supreme Court and Parliament.
Shanker said, "The superintendence of the CBI by the CVC, ever since it was ordered by the Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain case, is still in the process of evolution."
He wanted better accountability and transparency in the functioning of the CBI. He said the commission's office has always seen itself as a buffer between the CBI and external pressures.
Shanker, while praising the CBI for its professionalism and competence, said, "There has also been criticism in certain quarters that the CBI continues to be amenable to political pressure."
He sought the advice of the more than half-a-dozen former chiefs of the CBI who were present to help him understand the extent of such superintendence and the manner in which it has to be exercised.
The CVC commissioner said, "We cannot be seen to be cooperative or adjusting lest we should be mistaken to be colluding."
Many in the audience were of the opinion that the office of the CVC should not be pro-active because it will unnecessarily increase bureaucratic workload of the CBI.
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who was a keynote speaker at the function, delivered the sixth Dharmanath Prasad Kohli lecture on parliamentary democracy in India -- past and future.
He said even after five decades of freedom "we have not been able to guarantee the basic right to development to our people".
Chatterjee said the condition of the working class is far from satisfactory, and in some sense, appalling.
He also said that 'Directive Principles of State Policy' are still to be realised. It should be made enforceable to ensure accountability of the administration, he added.
The Lok Sabha speaker, noting that `criminalisation of politics' remains a problem, said for a healthy democracy, good governance is necessary.
Chatterjee honoured the former chiefs of the CBI at the function.
The services of Vijay Karan, S K Dutta, Joginder Singh, R C Sharma, P C Sharma, D K Kathikeyan, Trinath Mishra and R K Raghvan to the CBI were remembered.
Suresh Pachauri, minister of state in charge of personnel and parliamentary affairs was also present.