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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightCBI under the cloud

CBI under the cloud

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CBI under the cloud
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The Supreme Court on Thursday removed Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha from the 2G spectrum scam cases citing that the allegations made against him were credible.

The apex Court ruled “not to interfere” in the investigation of the controversial case saying that Sinha had tried to influence the probe and helped the accused. The Court decision is a strong eye opener to all those officials who become vulnerable to the petty demands of their seniors or selfish motives and other external pressures. The verdict was widely welcomed and was a step towards “protecting the faith in the institution and the reputation of the Director of the CBI.” A disciplinary inquiry against Sinha is likely to follow. Sinha is to retire from his post on December 2 this year. The scam centred on the 2007-2008 sales of 2G mobile phone licences at cut-rate prices to favour some firms that the national auditor said cost the treasury billions of dollars in lost revenues.

The Supreme Court verdict is based on a petition filed by senior lawyer and Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan that alleged that Sinha tried to help the accused in the serious criminal charges in the 2G scam. The Court had issued a notice to him in last September over serious allegations that he met those investigated in the 2G spectrum allocation and coal scams at his official residence in New Delhi. There were reports of top Reliance Anil Ambani Group officials met him nearly 50 times in the last one year. Bhushan had also submitted the visitor diary at Sinha’s residence in the Court. The Court had directed Bhushan to reveal the names of the whistleblowers who had given the required information to him. But he had refused to disclose the names citing the dangers to their lives. The apex Court later withdrew the order.

The CBI has been extensively critisised by the experts, social workers and political parties and the people alike for its irresponsible role in handling high profile cases and taking sides with the accused like the much controversial Bofors scandal. The main accused Ottavio Quattrocchi’s frozen bank accounts were secretly nullified by the CBI. A revamping of the main investigation agency of the country has become essential. Since the revelations pose a threat to the lives of the whistleblowers in such cases, a law to protect them, particularly in the high profile cases, is also necessary.

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