Politicians change, you are permanent: CJI NV Ramana tells CBI
New Delhi/IBNS: In a direct criticism of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Friday said the country's premier probe agency has often raised "questions on its credibility" through its "actions and inactions".
Speaking during a function of the Central agency, he also suggested that the need of the hour is to "reclaim social legitimacy and public trust".
The CJI noted that the first step towards the same "is to break nexus with political and executive".
“There is an immediate requirement for the creation of an independent umbrella institution, so as to bring various agencies like the CBI, SFIO, ED, etc. under one roof. This body is required to be created under a statute, clearly defining its powers, functions and jurisdictions. Such a law will also lead to much needed legislative oversight,” he said.
He said to do that an independent and impartial authority should be "appointed by a committee akin to the one which appoints the Director of the CBI. The head of the organisation can be assisted by deputies who are specialists in different domains".
Delivering a lecture on "Democracy: Role and Responsibilities of Investigative Agencies", Justice Ramana recounted how the police system in India evolved from the British period.
He said with the passage of time, the CBI has "come under deep public scrutiny".
"The image of police is tarnished by allegations of corruption etc... often police officers approach us saying they are being harassed with change in power… The political executives will change with time. You are permanent," Chief Justice Ramana said.
The Chief Justice even admitted that investigative agencies suffer from not having Constitutional backing. "The police system gets its legitimacy from Constitution."
"Unfortunately investigation agencies still don't have benefit of being guided by a law," he said.
He noted the other challenges faced by the investigative agencies face, and said they have a lack of infrastructure, manpower, modern equipment, questionable means of procuring evidence, change in priorities with change in political executive and repeated transfer of officers.
"These issues often lead to the acquittal of guilty and incarceration of innocent. Courts can't monitor every step," he added.