It would have been better that before bringing this ordinance, the government would have got it debated in the next session of the Lok Sabha or had taken its permission from the Supreme Court. What was the need to bring this ordinance in such a hurry? The government can get away with this decision by calling it its prerogative. The Supreme Court had made a system to free these investigating agencies from the clutches of the government. cbi and ed director
The Government of India has made arrangements to extend the tenure of directors of CBI and Enforcement Directorate by 5 years through an ordinance. This term was fixed for two years. Now these directors can be kept in their office for a further three years after one year. Both these investigative agencies, already embroiled in controversies, have been the target of the opposition. Now this new ordinance has provoked the opposition further. It is possible that the opposition will raise this issue loudly in this Parliament session.
The two-year term of directors of these two agencies was determined in the Supreme Court’s decision of ‘Vineet Narayan Vs. Government of India’ in December 1997. Under this decision, there were detailed instructions on the process of appointment to these posts. The objective was to ensure maximum autonomy of these sensitive investigative agencies. It was needed because we had questioned the inaction of the CBI in 1993 through a PIL. Because despite all the evidence, the CBI had been suppressing the investigation of Hizbul Mujahideen funding from Dubai and London through hawala for two years. There was heavy political pressure on him. While deciding on this petition itself, the Supreme Court had issued the said orders, which later became law.
The latest ordinance ignores the spirit of that decision of the Supreme Court. Due to which the apprehension is strong that whichever government will be at the center, it will extend the service to these officers till they dance on its behest. In this way, these important investigative agencies can become victims of blackmailing by the government. Because whatever government has been in the center, it has been accused of misuse of these investigative agencies. But the current government is being accused time and again that it is continuously misusing these agencies against its political rivals or media establishments publishing news against them.
It would have been better that before bringing this ordinance, the government would have got it debated in the next session of the Lok Sabha or had taken its permission from the Supreme Court. What was the need to bring this ordinance in such a hurry? The government can get away with this decision by calling it its prerogative. But the question is about the intention and honesty of the government. That historic decision of the Supreme Court was to free these investigating agencies from the clutches of the government. So that they can do their work without any pressure or interference. Because even the court had called CBI a ‘parrot in a cage’. The task of monitoring these agencies has been entrusted to the Central Vigilance Commission.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and other BJP leaders have been calling the previous governments corrupt and their governments honest on every platform for the last 7 years. Modi ji says with stamina “Na khaoonga na khaane dunga”. The proof of his claim will be that these agencies investigating against corruption should be free from interference of the government. If they do not do so, then it will not be baseless to doubt the intentions of the present government. It has also been our personal experience that in the last 7 years, we have lodged many complaints in the CBI and CVC against the corruption of large level in government or public undertakings. But no action was taken against them. Whereas earlier this was not the case. By respecting our role in giving autonomy to these agencies, our complaints were dealt with promptly.
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There has been no political agenda in all the issues we raised. Whatever was considered appropriate in the public interest was taken up. This is a matter of every big politician and that is why against whom we fought a long battle in the courts, they also respect our impartiality and transparency. This is what democracy looks like. The present government should also show such generosity that if there is a complaint of verifiable corruption against any of its ministries or departments, then it should be allowed to be investigated fairly. The complainant should not be considered as his enemy but a well-wisher. Because the saints have said, ‘Near the slanderer, keep the courtyard hut clean, without water, without soap, make it pure, Subhay.’
Therefore, in the matter of this ordinance, the Supreme Court should immediately intervene and investigate. It is not the wrong thinking of Modi ji to extend the tenure of the directors of these important investigative agencies by 5 years, but two things have to be kept in mind here. First; These appointments should be made one-time, that is, through the process by which they are selected, they should be given appointment letter or extension of service for 5 years. Second; The government’s sycophancy should not develop in the officers and so that they can work impartially in the public interest, they should not be given extension after the age of 60, but the names of those officers in these important posts should be considered whose service period is now. Have 5 years left. If the government does this, then its credibility will increase and if it does not, then these investigative agencies will always be under suspicion and frustration will increase in the bureaucracy.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been taking many ambitious decisions like demonetisation. Which shows their enthusiastic tendencies. With all the rhetoric and costly publicity that every verdict is broadcast across the country, such results are often not seen. Because he has an impressive personality and a section of the society is very fond of him, he may not feel the need to seek advice from parliamentary traditions and experienced and qualified advisors. If they bring such a change in their personality that before implementing every big and important decision, they must consult the general public and not the least experienced people on its merits and demerits, then their decisions can be more positive. It is noteworthy that in Switzerland, the government must hold a referendum before making any new law. India is not a mature democracy yet, but if decisions affecting the lives of 135 crore people are taken after collective brainstorming, it will be in public interest.