Govt will look into CBI’s legality: Manmohan
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the government will look “seriously” and “promptly” into the legality of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the wake of some questions being raised about the legitimacy of the investigation agency.
Addressing a CBI conference on tackling corruption, he also asked probe agencies to tread cautiously when it was handling cases related to policy decisions.
Against the backdrop of the Gauhati High Court verdict declaring the agency as “unconstitutional”, Dr. Singh said, “Our Government will look into this seriously and promptly. The Government will do all that is necessary to establish the need for the CBI and its legitimacy, and protect its past and future work.”
“This is a matter that will undoubtedly have to be considered also by the highest court in the land,” he said at the Conference of CBI and State Anti Corruption Bureaux on Common Strategies to Combat Corruption and Crime.
The Supreme Court on Saturday had stayed the High Court order, saying accused in “sensational cases” have sought halting of the criminal proceedings based on the judgement.
Referring to public debate on corruption in the country, the Prime Minister said it is sometimes forgotten that economic growth also implies greater opportunity for corruption.
“To keep pace with the aspirations of the people…our government has taken several legal and administrative measures in the last nine years,” he said.
At the same time, he said, it is also important to ensure that the work of nation building goes on at a quick pace.
Dr. Singh said investigations into cases of policy making and administration should be done with great care.
The Prime Minister said investigating agencies must maintain utmost vigilance in preventing corruption and do their best in ensuring transparency, accountability and probity.
Dr. Singh said the fight against corruption should not only be confined to investigation and prosecution of corruption related offences once they happen.
“It is important that we look at the issue of corruption in the correct perspective,” he said.
The Prime Minister said powerful forces of change that are instrumental in creating greater prosperity are also throwing up new areas of crime and corruption.
“This conference reflects the need that the fight against corruption should be a collective effort of diverse stakeholders,” he said.
Dr. Singh said there is a growing exchange of people, ideas, goods, services, capital and data across the country and across national boundaries.
He also said economic reforms of the 1990s followed by periods of fast economic growth have brought about rapid changes in our country.