Mess in fighting corruption

Prof N.K.Singh

There is no doubt that PM Narendera Modi’s government has tried to remove corruption from the country, but there is doubt that they are effectively dealing with the phenomena. Take any case, there are administrative blunders and futile efforts despite good intentions.

Modi had come to power on the plank of transparency and elimination of corruption. He has done some bold deeds and set up cleaning mechanisms but still he is not clear on the whole process of black money and how to deal with it.

Most important instrument against the black money was the Central Bureau of Investigation, which traced the corruption that could lead to black money. It is also alleged to be instrument for witch hunting as claimed by many politicians who are not in power. The current trouble of CBI showed how fragile the institution is when its two top personnel accused each other of graft running into millions of rupees.

If the agency to uncover corruption itself is accused of it and its two top leaders are in doubt of integrity then how can the agency be trusted?

Two major institutions that mattered so much for the financial integrity of the country areunder the shadow. In case of RBI also Raghu Ram Rajan had completed his tenure and was not given extension despite his building up a media campaign.

He was known to be close to the former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who had assured him of extension. But the government changed and he had to go.

Modi still made a mistake and did not bring in a credible and trusted man. Rather he promoted the deputy Governor according to seniority principle. This appointment too turned sour as the successor Urjit Patel too had differences with the Government and left after raising dust, in which Rajan too again tried to fish in troubled waters.

The story of CBI is worse as A.K.Verma was appointed by the three man committee as per legal requirement but the opposition leader Kharge objected to his appointment.

When he was removed, opposition leader again raised objection. Here opposition was supposed to be objective, but the third member mattered which in this case was CJI (Chief Justice of India). But strangely he recused and in turn sent A.K.Sikri.

The committee transferred Verma to Fire services, which he did not join and resigned. Now the opposition, mainly Congress, raised a lot of noise that he was going to investigate Rafale scam and that is the reason for removing him. It is a patent lie as CBI did not have jurisdiction on defense deal and beyond all doubts the Supreme Court had given clean chit to the Government.

The court too made a mess of it by carrying on the proceedings asking CBI director to be restored but not function and again the director being removed.

Opposition made good of all these fauxpas and unnecessary din was raised and no one knew what is true or false. Another fauxpas was the appointment of Justice A.K. Sikri on the panel of three while he was already cleared for a commonwealth appointment by the government.

CJI should have not recused or appointed another judge who was not in the process of being obliged by Government for appointment. Although later the judge declined the appointment yet doubt has been created although the decision was above board.

So far no grave issue of corruption has been mooted by opposition except raising false charges and repeating them time and again in Goebellian manner.

But fact remains that there could have been more effective and better ways of handling these two issues of RBI and CBI by the government. The lapses in governance contributed to needless mess over mess. It would have been better handled by professional and competent advisory team.It is time that major reforms in working of CBI are brought in as it has not even a law of its creation but is operating on Delhi Police legislation.

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