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ROLE OF CBI IN COMBATING CORRUPTION

The idea of corruption is not old, we all can relate. Petty corruption is quite common actually, more than on one occasion speeding commuters have paid a petty bribe to rid themselves of any harassment. This of course is not advisable but excusable. Corruption that we are more concerned about is that involving mammoth amount of commodities and most importantly- MONEY. Power and authority, two attributes capable enough to drive a man away from his ideals. Even a good charactered man as Macbeth was driven by greed to gain power, after gaining which he lost even that little virtue he had left in him. In today's world it is indeed very difficult to find someone saintly and idealistic not to get swayed away by these attractive propositions. Thus comes the need for Vigilance, to prevent people from indulging in abuse of their authority. The Central Bureau Of Investigation widely known by its acronym-CBI , is the first agency in India to whom all "Cases of corruption and fraud committed by public servants of all Central Govt. Departments, Central Public Sector Undertakings and Central Financial Institutions; Economic crimes, including bank frauds, financial frauds, Import Export & Foreign Exchange violations, large-scale smuggling of narcotics, antiques, cultural property and smuggling of other contraband items etc; Special Crimes, such as cases of terrorism, bomb blasts, sensational homicides, kidnapping for ransom and crimes committed by the mafia" are reported. CBI being the premier investigation agency of the country, the people have high expectations of its neutrality and impartiality. But the fact remains that most of its main functions are controlled by the central government. This would lead one to believe that the CBI is merely working for the government and does not have any autonomous power of its own to investigate the ministers of the very government for discrepancies in their actions and decisions. Opposition political parties have more than once used this to criticize the CBI accusing them of being a one sided agents of the government which targets the leaders of their parties to have a political advantage over them. In their recent efforts to become autonomous, they have been partially successful as the honourable supreme court of India has ensured them 'partial autonomy' from the government. The role of the CBI in investigating and reporting to the supreme court of activities of corruption so that 'justice' is ensured is quite important. There are cases when an independent investigation is stunted by the interference of the government, when certain essential files get 'lost' when required which makes it impossible for the CBI to provide evidence against the accused. In ancient Greece the corrupt were punished by the rulers who, ironically, were corrupt themselves. Hopefully that is not the case in India. To maintain harmony in a region, law enforcement is essential. Be it riots, protests or vandalism, it is these agencies which reach the scene of action first and it is them who take the initial decisions to restore harmony and peace. Law enforcement is not limited to violence, they are a resource for investigative agencies like the CBI and are entrusted with the duty to arrest the accused, and assist a smooth investigation process. In case the accused has not necessarily indulged in violence or rioting but has broken the law none the less, is arrested by the law enforcement agencies. However in this age India is becoming soft on law enforcement and social pollutants are usin this to their advantage and getting away with serious crimes. There is however a flipside to all of this. The law and order force is derived from society itself, hence to expect the law enforcement body to change while the society is

deep rooted its belief and acting as an inhibitor rather than a catalyst is like expecting a cow to give milk while its owner does not feed it well. Another major issue related to Law enforcement agencies is the interference from political parties and the politicising and communalising of issues which if handled otherwise could have been solved easily. Recently a riot broke out in Muzaffarnagar a town in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The issue leading up to the riot- a traffic accident and an eveteasing incident, could have been solved easily, and the riots could have been prevented if the political parties had not provoked the locals against each other by delivering incendiary speeches. In these situations, local political leaders have much authority over the local law enforcement body like a police station because of which they are unable to act independently to resolve the root- problem and restore normalcy to the region. Courts of law have always been considered as the epitome of justice across the globe. They are held as honourable institutions where people expect the correct judgement to be passed, the guilty to be punished and the innocent to be treated duly. In India, the judicial system consists of the Supreme Court at the top, followed by the several High courts and then the Sub-ordinate courts. As important as the CBI is to investigation and the law enforcement agencies to ensure that they happen smoothly, it is the duty of the court especially the supreme court in cases of national importance, to hand a case to be investigated by a particular agency. Basically, it is the Supreme court who tells the CBI to investigate a certain case. The Judiciary is still regarded as the cleanest and most noble of the three wings of our democracy. The constitution says that the judgement passed by the Supreme court can not be challenged but a review can be petitioned which can either be accepted or rejected by the court, hence it's decision is the final decision. Recently, the CBI has been investigating quite a few cases, some of them being-the "Coal Scam", the fake encounter cases, the Adarsh Housing Society scam and the illegal mining case. The CBI has been presented with difficulties in these cases when members of the ruling party have been named in a charge sheet. The investigation of the coal blocks allocation scam has been halted because of the disappearance of certain files from the government's custody. It is an universal truth that the ruling party will try to target the opposition by bringing out old files and investigating their wrongdoings, but it is also true that no government is squeaking clean. Hence the CBI should be given more power and autonomy so that it can investigate everybody freely sans any interference. In the present condition, according to a reputed daily-"..Even a clerk can block the CBI boss' plans..." If implemented properly an autonomous CBI would be a dream come true for the people of India and for anticorruption activists. The nation would no longer require a 'Jan Lokpal'- an independent body to investigate and contain corruption in the nation. The CBI would be more than happy to look after these matters themselves. The autonomy of the CBI has been questioned by certain respected persons including a former chief justice of India, however the Supreme court of India has locked horns with the centre to ensure a partial autonomy to the CBI. This is a very important step considering the fact that if an investigative agency is biased, it truly has no importance to the nation, as it does not serve it due justice. BY: REEJH GHOSH