The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has inaugurated the new headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi today. Following is the text of PM’s address on the occasion:

“ I am happy to participate in this function for inauguration of the new headquarters building of the Central Bureau of Investigation. I believe this is a state-of-the-art, green building. It is an impressive structure and I congratulate all those who have contributed to its construction. I am sure this new building will provide all of you a congenial and comfortable habitat to work in.

Over the years, the CBI has evolved into the premier investigating agency of the country. There is a loud clamour for the investigation to be handed over to the CBI, whenever there is a gruesome crime, a complex case, a politically sensitive matter or large-scale fraud. Such requests come from all parts of the country and from governments of different persuasions. It is quite common for High Courts, and even the Supreme Court, to entrust cases considered complex or sensitive to the CBI for investigation. Over the years the CBI has acquitted itself well as an independent, professional and competent investigating agency. It has set benchmarks for other investigating outfits in the country to emulate. But there is room for improvement. I would urge the officers of the CBI to strive tirelessly to set even higher standards of work.

A few days back, in the inaugural function of the Civil Services Week, I had spoken about the problem of corruption and the growing impatience of our people to see quick action for tackling it. The CBI is today investigating many high profile cases of corruption that have attracted a great deal of public attention. The handling of these cases constitutes a litmus test for you. What is expected of you is thorough investigation, fair action and quick results. The CBI should act without fear or favour and bring to book all those who are guilty, irrespective of their position or status. I would advise you to put your heads down and work hard, away from the media glare, to ensure early resolution of these cases.

It is also important for the Bureau to ensure that its judgment always remains rooted in hard evidence and is not influenced by extraneous factors. Ours is an open and free society. There will be many views and opinions on all issues. The CBI has to be sensitive to these but it has always to do what is right and correct. For an investigating agency, there can be only one guiding beacon, only one gold standard and that is the law of the land. Whoever transgresses it, how ever mighty, has to be brought to book. At the same time, the CBI has to avoid harassment to those who act in good faith in the discharge of their duties. There should be no vendetta, no witch-hunt and no harassment of the innocent. There should be no apprehension of punitive action for bonafide mistakes as we cannot afford an environment that breeds fear, inaction and indecision.

As we all know, investigation is only one part of the process to bring the guilty to book. Trials have also to be conducted, and conducted speedily. We have decided to set up 71 additional special courts for dealing with cases entrusted to the CBI. I am told that 64 of these have now been sanctioned but only 16 are operational. I would urge my colleague Shri Narayanasamy to pursue the matter with the States. We have already agreed to reimburse the costs incurred in setting up of these courts and it is necessary that the states get persuaded to provide the necessary infrastructure and personnel at the earliest.

Officers, men and women working in the CBI have a difficult task to perform. It is essential that they are looked after well and they have the necessary technical and other resources required for their work. I assure you that our government is committed to providing the CBI the manpower, the finances and the technology that the agency requires. We also stand committed to giving the Bureau the necessary independence and operational flexibility.

Let me end by wishing all the men and women working in the CBI the best in the coming years. May God bless your path.”

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0 responses to “PM’s Address at the Inauguration of the New Headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation”

  1. C.Jyoti says:

    TD Sharma has confused 2G with CWG. The PAC is going into the former (and much larger/bigger) scam.

  2. TD Sharma says:

    Under a related news item headed “Rural households in India paid over Rs 470cr bribe for basic services” reported today itself, my comments are as under:

    “… There are no rights and no Rule of Law in this country except for those in power-of politics, money and administration. The poor people, those living in the semi-urban and rural areas, it is a story of daily dispossession of lands by the politics-police-money power-criminal-bureaucracy nexus and the loot of their lives by this gang. Thus this is no news at all-unless one submits to the regime of bribes, one has no right to survive in this country. What is interesting is that, since all politicians, bureaucrats, govt servants and police are parties to this gang-rape of the people at every step, they have all a vested interest in perpetuating this system of abundant corruption, The PM’s advice to the CBI recently is also therefore a hoax-he does not mean it. One cannot become the head of any investigative outfit without linkages/networking borne out of/nurtured by pecuniary grease.” The same apples here. Is the PM trying to fool the intelligentsia and the knowledgeable in the country with these high sounding but untrue statements? Can really an honest officer in the investigative agencies work without fear or favour? No, that is why he has repeated his advice given umoteen times to all and sundry. Why and how, for instance, 2 persons have been made “acting chairmen” on two-monthly extension basis of two top tax bodies is a big mystey staring at the face of the PM.
    Let me in this context quote a news item from the net posted just a few days ago:

    “SENIOR OFFICIAL GOT EXTENSION DESPITE CVC’S OBJECTIONS?
    “As the anti-corruption movement heats up in the country, documents obtained through RTI reveal that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had objected to an extension for a top level public sector official but her term was renewed by the government for five years this year.

    ”Anju Banerjee was appointed chairperson and managing director (CMD) of the Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL India) under the human resource development (HRD) for a five-year term in 2005. Subsequently, in November last year, her term was extended for three months and in February this year, the ministry again gave her an extension till Nov 28, 2015.
    “…..documents obtained from the CVC through the Right To Information show that the anti-corruption watchdog had objected to the five-year extension, citing that several allegations against her had been found to be ‘prima facie’ true. The RTI queries were filed by activist M.L. Gouhari.

    ”Banerjee has been accused of causing harassment, irregularities in promotions and appointments and violation of the Whistleblower Act since 2005, according to CVC documents, copies of which are available with IANS.

    ”According to the contents of a CVC letter revealed through RTI, she got the office of chief vigilance officer (CVO) in EdCil abolished after the official in that post found many of the complaints against her to be true during internal investigations.

    ”” ‘…when the Commission took up the case of protection of the whistleblower, Banerjee not only put pressure on the CVO but also got, eventually, the CVO’s post abolished,’ said a letter written by CVC director P.M. Pillai to the ministry’s joint secretary Amit Khare dated Dec 2, 2010.

    ”This confidential letter, sent after she was given the three-month extension in November 2010, noted that the ministry ‘is also aware that some of these allegations have been found, on investigation, to be prima facie true’.

    ”The CVC had urged the ministry to put all the facts before a competent authority before extending her tenure for another five years, according to the RTI documents. Under the Whistleblower Act, the CVC is responsible for protecting the identity of citizens who provide information about the misuse of governmental authority and funds.

    ”The CVC is also empowered to take action against those who reveal the identity of whistleblowers or those who threaten whistleblowers.

    ”In this case, Rajesh Gouhari, assistant manager (finance) in EdCIL, had filed a complaint regarding harassment by the EdCIL management through ‘punitive transfers and threats to his personal safety and well-being.’

    ”The CVC, after examining his allegations, directed Banerjee to post Rajesh Gouhari back to the headquarters of EdCIL at Noida.

    ”” ‘Keeping in view the veracity of Shri Gauhari’s complaints and facts of his reported victimisation, the Commission directs the CMD, EdCIL, to post Shri Gauhari back to the headquarters of EdCIL at Noida with immediate effect,’ CVC director Rohit Tiwari wrote in an office memorandum dated Oct 10, 2009.

    ”A case against her three-month extension, filed by EdCIL employees, is also pending in the Delhi High Court and the final hearing is set for May 26.

    ”” ‘She has harassed permanent staff by transferring them at her will. She also appointed her own people to top posts ignoring others,’ Lalita Kumari, general secretary of the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association of EdCIL (India), alleged while speaking to IANS.

    ”An RTI query made to the ministry’s department of higher education in December 2010 also revealed that Banerjee had not been ‘confirmed’ as CMD after the expiry of her first year in office.

    ”Her office, quoting Banerjee, wrote to IANS: ‘Thank you for contacting me for my comments. Extension of my services as CMD, EdCIL, has been done according to the laid down procedures of the government of India, other allegations are baseless.’

    ”EdCil, the only public sector company in the educational field, offers consultancy services for education and human resource development in India and abroad.”

    No wonder then that the PAC report has been rejected by the ruling party (in keeping with the precedent set by the opposition some years ago). Whether or not, no LOKPAL will ever be able to bring deliverance to the masses from the clutches of corrupt and cruel babus/police/ criminals or interested in doing so ever. After all, the Lokpal would also be a person thrown up by the same system of elitist and corrupt rule.

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