Monday, November 11, 2013

Manmohan Singh makes it as clear as water: The executive is the CBI\'s boss

Prime minister (PM) Manmohan Singh has cautioned the CBI, which is investigating the coal scam, that policy-making is complex and that it would not "be appropriate for a police agency to sit in judgement over policy formulation without evidence of mala fide".

"Policy-making is a multi-layered process. It is not right for the investigating agency to judge policy without evidence of mala fide. We need more trained minds in the CBI. It must not only strengthen anti-corruption bureaus but also the CID and EOWs," Singh said during his address at the CBI conference on Monday.

Singh's comments came days after the Gauhati high court ruled that the CBI was an unconstitutional body because the resolution under which the agency was created in 1964 is not legal.

The PM, whose office role is also under investigation by the federal agency, said that it is important that errors of judgement are distinguished from criminal acts. He also warned against equating decisions "taken with no ill-intention within the prevailing policy as criminal misconduct".

Meanwhile, the PM clarified that the police and probe agencies operated under the administrative supervision of the executive, but they enjoyed complete autonomy in investigation. He said under the Constitution, maintenance of public order, which would include prevention, detection and prosecution of offences, is the domain of the executive. "The police and the investigative agencies, therefore, are a part of the executive and must function under its administrative supervision."

On legality of CBI

Manmohan Singh assured that the government will look into issues which have come up about the legality of the CBI. "We will look into this seriously and promptly," he said. The Gauhati HC last week ruled that the CBI is unconstitutional.
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