Money & Banking

Need to make CBI more independent: CJI Ranjan Gogoi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 13, 2019 Published on August 13, 2019

Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi   -  THE HINDU

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) needs to be more independent when investigating high profile cases of graft, as the current administrative structure, with an overarching Executive, hampers the agency from doing its job, said Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.

Delivering the 18th DP Kohli memorial lecture, Gogoi said, “Why is it that whenever there are no political overtones to a case, the CBI does a good job?...Given that the superintendence and control of the agency continues — in a large way — to ride on the executive by virtue of Section 4 of the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act, the possibility of the agency being used as a political instrument makes for a visit.”

“What is reflective of the CBI is also reflective of the entire police force,” he said.

Highlighting his concerns with the current operations of the CBI, Gogoi said, “The constitutional and legal ambiguity that surrounds certain institutions is not entirely overt, but the lack of clearly demarcated spheres of functioning and overlapping areas of influence severely compromise both the integrity and efficacy of an institution.”

He added, “For instance, under the Delhi Central Police Establishment Act, the conduct of continuance of investigation in the offences committed within the territory of a State, consent of the State is crucial. Here (due to) vested interests or bureaucratic lethargy, such consent is either denied or delayed severely compromising the investigation.”

“Additionally, a patchwork of legislations governing the functioning of the CBI adversely affects intra-institutional coordination both horizontal and vertical,” he said.

Statutory status

“The CBI should be given statutory status through a legislation equivalent to that of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The legal mandate of the CBI must be strengthened by having a comprehensive legislation addressing the deficiencies within the organisational structure,” said Gogoi.

“With increasing instances of inter-State crimes, an argument could be made to include a public order in the concurrent list for the limited purpose of investigating inter-State crimes,” he added.

Published on August 13, 2019
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