1) CBI vs CBI
It is unfortunate that India’s premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is mired in controversy. Allegations of corruption have been made against its top official and his immediate junior. The CBI has booked Special Director Rakesh Asthana over allegedly receiving a bribe from an accused probed by a hint. Apparently, the FIR was filed against Asthana almost two months after he had shot off a letter to the Cabinet Secretary, accusing his boss, CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, of indulging in a series of corruption acts. The allegations and counter-allegations are of a very serious nature. It is expected that the Central Vigilance Commission, the statutory body that exercises superintendence over the functioning of the CBI for investigation of offences related to the prevention of corruption, will probe them thoroughly. Meanwhile, the agency’s other supervisor — Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) — must take the necessary steps to purge the system, which is possible as the Prime Minister is the head of the DoPT. Every government says that the CBI enjoys full autonomy. It is, however, difficult for the agency officials to completely sanitise itself from the country’s overwhelming political system. That could be the reason why the Supreme Court criticised the agency as a ‘caged parrot’ and ‘its master’s voice’ in 2013. Ever since the credibility of the CBI has been on the decline. Today, it has reached its nadir. This is the time for CBI officials to remember the founding director DP Kohli — ‘The public expects the highest standard from you, both in efficiency and integrity. That faith has to be sustained’. Its glory must be restored. This is not possible without flushing out rogue officials and creating a firewall to prevent political interference. The Manmohan Singh government did take an initiative about five years ago by forming a Group of Ministers to suggest ways to ensure the independence of the CBI and its functional autonomy. The task remained incomplete due to the lack of political will. The Modi government has the opportunity to take it to its logical conclusion.
– Divyesh Chovatiya
2) Balanced SC verdict on crackers
It is good that Supreme Court this time gave a balanced verdict on cracker-bursting in Delhi and NCR, unlike verdict of last year which had hurt feelings of majority Hindus since that order imposing a complete ban on the sale of crackers was only for most-celebrated festival Diwali of majority Hindus. the verdict this year also imposes similar restrictions on celebrations made for Christmas and New Year eve.
Practically speaking, the verdict this year will gradually pave way for green crackers at least from next year if not in present year, because cracker-dealers this year will try to finish their old stocks and will make fresh purchases in future only as per guidelines set by the Supreme Court so that people may continue with tradition of cracker-bursting on happy occasion of Diwali.
– Madhu Agrawal
3) Woman brutally raped in West Bengal
It seems that the cruelty has occupied on humanity. Instead of giving respect to each other, we are so interested to insult each other. The latest spine-chilling and horrific incident occurred with a woman in West Bengal. According to the news, a woman was raped and an iron rod inserted in her private parts allegedly by a relative angry over a land dispute with her family in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. The accused called the woman out of her home on the pretext of resolving the land dispute and raped her. The woman who was admitted to hospital and is in a critical condition and she said another person accompanied the accused but he did not rape her. The accused and his companion have been detained by the police and interrogation is on. The incident brings back the memories of the 2012 Jyoti Singh rape case in New Delhi in which a woman was gang-raped inside a moving bus and one of the accused inserted a rod in her private parts. We condemn completely and we need to stand up against such barbaric incidents. The government must take immediate steps to prevent this kind of shameful incidents and they must be punished inexorably.
– A.S. Qasmi
4) CBI must be placed out of politics
The most trustworthy agency of the country, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken a turn which shocked every Indian citizen. The CBI is considered as an institute of trust and faith, but now it has become a weapon of political vendetta which is indeed very dangerous for the country itself. I request all political parties not to politicise the matter further, rather they should make efforts to settle down all the internal quarrels and differences soon. The ruling BJP and its Prime Minister Modi should take things seriously, otherwise, it will bring miserable consequences in the country. How the agency can stand to fight against external conflicts until it will not solve its own differences?
– MFU Tandvi
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)