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Freeing the caged parrot

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies etc

 

Directions: A question on CBI was asked in last year’s Mains.

Source: Indian Express

 

Context:

  • Despite several observations made by the Supreme Court against the inefficient functioning of the CBI nothing has happened to improve the situation.

Supreme Court cases on CBI:

  • Jain Hawala case(2014): Criminal negligence of the CBI in militancy and corruption-related matter.
  • Vineet Narain” judgment(1997): The CVC be given statutory status and be entrusted with the responsibility to supervise the work of the CBI ensuring its efficiency and impartiality.

Recommendations for improving the functioning of CBI and CVC:

  • Amendment: The CVC Act should be amended, providing for a five/seven-member CVC, which could broadly assume the role visualized for the Lokpal.
  • Prevent favouritism in selection: The selection process to be more broad-based to prevent favouritism or from controversial persons being appointed.
  • CVC should constitute an advisory committee: Consisting of at least 11 members drawn from criminologists and forensic science experts.
    • This will augment the professional input in its functioning.
  • Expert or professional assistance: CVC should be given the power to go to any expert or professional to assist it in screening complaints.
  • No permission from the government: After assessing a complaint by broad-based CVC, there should be no need to seek prior permission from the government.
  • CBI should be made functionally and financially independent: Of the controls of any government ministry/department.
    • The professional supervision over the investigations of the CBI should rest only with the CVC.
  • Manner of the appointment of the CBI Director: It should be broad-based as in the case of the CVC members.
    • The other inductions/appointments in the CBI should be brought under the overarching supervision of the CVC.
  • Better synergy between anti-corruption laws and grievance handling: The laws relating to whistleblowers and grievance redressal should be placed within the jurisdiction of the CVC.

Conclusion:

  • Responsible governance: Effective administration of anti-corruption laws at the grassroots is the key to responsible governance.
  • Government interference: The state and their anti-corruption agencies would, therefore, need to be equally insulated from the state government’s interference on similar lines.
  • Not used as instruments of blackmail and intimidation: Rather they should work with complete objectivity and in the interest of the nation

 

Insta Links:

Mains Links:

Q. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

  • CBI
  • CVC
  • SC

With reference to Central Vigilance Commission, consider the following statements:

  1. It is neither statutory nor an executive body.
  2. A central vigilance commissioner is appointed by the President on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

  • It is the apex vigilance institution created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of the Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
  • It consists of a central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.
  • They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).