Friday, 29 May 2020

More and more mess in fight against corruption

Updated: January 27, 2019 3:31 pm

There is no doubt that PM Narendera Modi’s government is bent upon removing the corruption from the country but there is every doubt that they are not effectively dealing with the phenomena. Take any case there are administrative blunders and futile efforts despite good ingentions.

Modi had come to power on the plank of transparency and elimination of corruption. He has done many bold deeds and set up cleaning mechnicsms but still he is not clear on the whole process of black money and how to deal with it. Most important instruments against the blackmoney was the institution of Central Bureau of Investigations which traced the corruption that could lead to black money. It also is alleged to be instrument of witch hunting as many politicians who are not in power claim.The current trouble oTf CBI showed how fragile the institution is when its two top personnel accused each other of graft running into millions of ruprees. 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 finance and inegrtity of the country have been under the shadow insouite if the years of Modi would be known for cleaning and transparency. In case of RBI also Raghu Ram Rajan had completed his tenure and was not given extention despite his building up media compaign. He was known to be close to the former Finance Minister P.Chiddambaram and had assurance of extension. But the government changed and he had to go. Modi still made a mistake and did not bring a credible and his trusted man. Rather he promoted the deputy of the Governor in old seniority principle. This appointment too turned sour as the successor Urjit Patels with the Government too had difference 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 object but the third member mattered which in this case was CJ. But strangely he rescued and inturn sent A.K.Sikri. The committee transferred Verma to Fire services, which he did not join rather resigned. Now the opposition mainly Congress raised a lot of noise that he was going to investigate Rafael scam and that is the reason for removing him. It is 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 a 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.

(Prof N.K.Singh )

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