Behind the smokescreen of contrived anger and indignation, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been ignoring the fact that he had welcomed the abrogation of the ‘single directive system’, which made it mandatory for the CBI to seek prior approval of the government before investigating any official at the level of joint secretary and above.
File photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI
File photo of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI
In fact, the ‘single directive system’ was restored by the NDA regime in 2003 through an Act passed by Parliament. Kejriwal along with his friend-turned-foe Prashant Bhushan vociferously opposed the move. Bhushan filed a petition in the SC which scrapped the single directive. Kejriwal then supported the move and demanded that the CBI be given freedom to investigate and prosecute officials irrespective of their ranks.
Needless to say that Kejriwal’s indignation over the CBI raid of the office of his principal secretary Rajendra Kumar is out of sync with his earlier moral positioning. In the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley explained that the CBI raids had nothing to do with Kejriwal’s office. He said that the searches were conducted in 14 other places in relation to a corruption case of an office — not related to his present assignment. The CBI has also maintained that the office of the principal secretary was raided, and not that of the chief minister. “There is evidence which suggests involvement of the official in corruption,” the CBI maintains.
The manner in which Kejriwal reacted to the whole episode is only reflective of his feisty side, his attributes of a street-fighter. Over the years, he has developed a holier-than-thou approach within his own party and showed intolerance to any criticism to his own politics. Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav found themselves on the receiving end of Kejariwal sooner rather than later.
In his tweets after the raid, Kejriwal went on to take personal potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
Of course, there may be many reasons for him to be miffed at the CBI’s action. Official sources admit that it would have been better for the chief minister of Delhi to wait for the details of the case, before declaring an all-out war against the Centre. There are plenty of indications that Kejriwal was determined to turn this corruption issue into a political battle between him and Modi.
Given Kejriwal’s attempt to leverage this situation to his advantage not only in Delhi but also in Punjab where the party has established a base, Kejriwal is unlikely to buy the Centre’s argument that the raid conducted by the CBI was related to a corruption case of Kumar’s, and not in his capacity as principal secretary to Kejriwal, but while on a previous assignment.
Here is AAP’s press release on the abrogation of the ‘single directive system’:
CBI can investigate corruption cases without waiting for consent from the government
The Aam Aadmi Party welcomes the long awaited judgement of the Supreme Court striking down the ‘Single Directive’, introduced by Section 6A of the CBI Act and also introduced in the CVC Act, which required the CBI to take the consent of the government even for beginning corruption investigations against government officials of the level of joint Secretary and above. This provision was introduced in 2003 in the CBI and CVC Acts by the NDA government even after the Supreme Court had declared the same ‘Single Directive’ as unconstitutional in the Hawala case in 1999. Both the NDA and the UPA governments had taken advantage of this absurd provision to protect senior Babus who were involved in corruption along with the Ministers themselves who in brazen conflicts of interest then denied permission for even investigating their Babus.
This judgement has come in a petition filed by Prashant Bhushan in 2003 on behalf of the Centre for Public Interest Litigation. The Supreme Court has held that this requirement of government permission for investigating high level corruption is promoting corruption and is also discriminatory since the Constitution prohibits discrimination between senior and junior public servants on issues of corruption. The court has also held that such a provision requiring the CBI to take government permission is also discriminatory in as much as the same corruption can also be investigated by the State Police which does not require any such prior permission. This will now free the CBI to investigate scores of corruption cases which are held up due to the non grant of permission by the government.
But despite this judgment, the CBI still remains a ‘Caged Parrot’, as the Supreme Court had put it. The CBI officers continue to remain under the adminstrative control of the government which decides their transfers, postings, promotions, suspensions, and most importantly, the post retirement jobs of senior CBI officers including the Director. No wonder then that the CBI is busy closing cases in most of the Coal Allotment cases and is very deliberately shielding the Ministers involved in the dishonest allocation of Coal Mines. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming public opinion in favour of freeing the CBI from the adminstrative Control of the government and placing it under an independant Jan Lokpal, the Congress and the BJP ganged up to bring a lame Lokpal Act in which the CBI still remains under the adminstrative control of the government and the Lokpal (which will be selected by the political class) will be forced to rely upon government controlled agencies for its corruption investigation. It will take an electoral revolution in the country to free this ‘Caged Parrot’ from the control of those who themselves need to be investigated for corruption.
Source from : First post
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