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Political Executives Will Change, You Are Permanent: Chief Justice To

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana today said the Central Bureau of Investigation, through its "actions and inactions" have often raised "questions on its credibility". Speaking at a…

New Delhi:

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana today said the Central Bureau of Investigation, through its “actions and inactions” have often raised “questions on its credibility”. Speaking at a function of the Central agency, he also suggested that the need of the hour is to “reclaim social legitimacy and public trust” and the first step to that “is to break nexus with political and executive”.

““There is an immediate requirement for the creation of an independent umbrella institution, so as to bring various agencies like the CBI, SFIO, ED, etc. under one roof. This body is required to be created under a statute, clearly defining its powers, functions and jurisdictions. Such a law will also lead to much needed legislative oversight,” he said.

This independent and impartial authority, should be “appointed by a committee akin to the one which appoints the Director of the CBI. The head of the organisation can be assisted by deputies who are specialists in different domains,” he added.

At a lecture on “Democracy: Role and Responsibilities of Investigative Agencies”, Justice Ramana, recounting how the police system in India evolved from the British period, said with passage of time, the CBI has “come under deep public scrutiny”.

“The image of police is tarnished by allegations of corruption etc… often police officers approach us saying they are being harassed with change in power… The political executives will change with time. You are permanent,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

In this context, the Chief Justice admitted that unlike the police, investigative agencies suffer from not having Constitutional backing. “The police system gets its legitimacy from Constitution.

Unfortunately investigation agencies still don’t have benefit of being guided by a law,” he said.  

Enumerating the other challenges investigative agencies face, he said they have a lack of infrastructure, manpower, modern equipment, questionable means of procuring evidence, change in priorities with change in political executive and repeated transfer of officers.

“These issues often lead to acquittal of guilty and incarceration of innocent. Courts can’t monitor every step,” he added.

But pointing out that any institution is as good or bad as their leadership, he said just a few officers can bring a change.

Ahead of delivering the reality check, Justice Ramana had jocularly remarked that when the CBI Director came to invite him for the event, “I told him that I will have to make some critical remarks about the police functioning in India”. “Hope he hasn’t invited trouble by inviting me,” he had added.

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