Ummid Assistant

Taj Group to train underprivileged rural youth in Maharashtra

Robotics competition for Andhra school students

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

Task of cleansing system has fallen on judiciary

Saturday May 04, 2013 08:10:34 PM, Amulya Ganguli, IANS

Ever since the Manmohan Singh government became embroiled in scams, it has been mainly the Supreme Court that has pushed for accountability.

In doing so, it has taken recourse to a new technique for ascertaining the truth - that of virtually appropriating to itself the task of inquiry by directing the official agencies, either the police or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to conduct the probes under the judiciary's aegis.

It has been an eminently successful method. In Gujarat, for instance, the Special Investigating Teams (SIT) set up to inquire into the Narendra Modi government's role during and after the 2002 riots have performed reasonably well.

The main feature of these probes is that the governments, whether in the states or at the centre, have no role to play. Now, for the first time, this dividing line has been breached. And, the suspect is none other than the country's law minister, Ashwani Kumar. Besides, his alleged vetting of the CBI's report relates to the coalgate scandal in which the prime minister's name has been mentioned because he was once the coal minister. The suspicion, therefore, is that he was trying to protect Manmohan Singh, perhaps on his own.

The Supreme Court's outrage is understandable - it has described the act of overseeing of the report as an "erosion" of trust by the CBI - because the intervention by the minister, bureaucrats of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and law officers like the attorney general has negated the very purpose of the court-monitored investigation, which is to ensure its credibility by keeping the government at arm's length.

It is as if Gujarat's tainted minister, Amit Shah, has checked the SIT's report on the fake encounter cases with which he is associated.

It is obvious that from now on, the scene will become murkier as the Supreme Court tries to "liberate" the CBI from official control, as it has vowed to do. First, more skeletons will tumble out of the cabinet as the court examines the CBI's affidavits on who saw the report, what changes were made, were there any deletions or additions, etc.

Secondly, as a result of these revelations, the government will continue to be on the back foot with the opposition and the media relentlessly harassing it. Its prospects, therefore, of approaching the next round of elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi with any degree of confidence is remote.

However, there may still be a silver lining to this gloomy scenario for the general public. Irrespective of how disheartening the current spell of "judicial activism" is for the government - and, indeed, for the entire political class, for no party wants an independent CBI - the democratic system itself is likely to benefit.

For a start, the CBI's functional autonomy may be finally assured and, along with it, a revival of the move to implement the Supreme Court's 2006 order on police reforms, to which the state governments have so far turned a deaf ear. As a former CBI director, R.K. Raghavan, said after the latest incident, no law minister will want to oversee the CBI's reports even for "grammatical errors", as has been suggested in the present case.

The reason for Ashwani Kumar's enthusiasm is obvious. The Indian politicians have been so accustomed to using the police and official agencies - the enforcement directorate, the income-tax authorities, et al - for partisan purposes that Ashwani Kumar apparently thought nothing of checking what the CBI had found on the coal scam. Nor did the CBI director, Ranjit Sinha, find anything wrong with his inquisitiveness. As Sinha has confessed, his organisation is a wing of the government and that he had shown the report to a minister and not an outsider.

However, there are factors other than the subservience of officials and the political propensity to misuse supposedly autonomous institutions which are at work here. It is the decline in the moral calibre of individuals involved in governance.

Arguably, in an earlier age, neither would a minister have blatantly interfered in the preparation of a report on the government's controversial role nor would an official have meekly responded to the summons to carry the files meant for the judiciary to a minister. It is also self-evident that the scams themselves - on the Commonwealth Games, the 2G spectrum and coal block allocations - are an indication of falling standards.

The country must be thankful that the judiciary at the highest levels - though not always lower down - remains free of taint and dedicated to the cause of ensuring honesty in public life. It is frightening to think what might have happened otherwise.

With a government mired in allegations of sleaze, and an opposition seeing the disruption of parliament as the only way to keep itself in the public eye, the task of cleansing the system has fallen on the judiciary, with the "fourth estate", the media, ensuring that none of the political shenanigans remains hidden.


Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. He can be reached at








Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS


More Headlines

Mum wished being buried with babies she killed

Expatriate Indians throng film awards show in Qatar

Indians in Saudi Arabia seek more community welfare services

AMU announces centre in Tipu Sultan's name

11 from Jammu and Kashmir including 09 Muslims clear UPSC exams

Indian media should learn from Boston bombing

Railway Minister Bansal's nephew, 03 others arrested in bribery scam

Saleh Muhammad lifts 29th Asian Snooker Championship trophy

Solar plane starts journey across US

Scientist says he found meteorite that hit Earth in 1908

Tihar inmates clash in jail, one dead

Three Pakistani officials given consular access to injured prisoner


Top Stories

Railway Scam

Railway Minister Bansal's nephew, 03 others arrested in bribery scam

The CBI Saturday arrested Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla and three others here for allegedly taking a bribe to ensure the promotion of a top railway official.  

Pawan Bansal: Low profile man in high-profile controversy


  Most Read

11 from Jammu and Kashmir including 09 Muslims clear UPSC exams

Sehrish Asgar, who made it to the Indian Police Service (IPS) last year, improved her rank and finished 23rd in the overall merit list, ensuring her selection for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) this year.  

ZFI, Haj Committee students among 30 successful Muslims

Three Pakistani officials given consular access to injured prisoner

Sanaullah, who was critically injured in an assault on him inside Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail, was flown to Chandigarh and admitted to the ICU of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and  

Pakistani prisoner attacked in Jammu jail, critical


  News Pick

National Hero

AMU announces centre in Tipu Sultan's name

The Aligarh Muslim University Saturday announced a centre for strategic studies named after the great Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, who fought against the British forces in the 18th century. 

Karnataka Polls

Hectic Campaign ends

A fortnight-long hectic campaign for the May 5Karnataka legislative assembly elections ended Friday, with mainstream and regional political parties switching over to door-to-door canvassing to woo the voters over the  

Amnesty wants release of arrested Sri Lankan Muslim politician

A Muslim politician and government critic arrested in Sri Lanka must be immediately released or charged with an internationally  

Islamic Finance

A broader 'Shariah' index for compliant Indian stocks

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has become the first in the country to launch a unique index for equities that follow the tenets of Islam - the S&P BSE  


Picture of the Day

A view of the newly Commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship H-191, in Mumbai Harbour on April 09, 2013.


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.