01 December, 2020

The Dilemma Of Draupadi

Autonomy might be a far way off for the CBI. It has too many masters for comfort.

Illustration by Sorit
The Dilemma Of Draupadi

The Real Meaning Of Freedom

While the apex court has dec­lared that the “first exercise” would be to liberate the CBI from political interference, real autonomy will also need freedom from administrative, legal and financial controls, also exercised by different ministries. Governments aren’t inclined to loosen the leash because “politicians aren’t here to do dharam-karam”, says ex-CBI director Joginder Singh.

  • Financial autonomy: Typically, the CBI’s annual budget is 30 per cent less than what it proposes. Most of it is spent on salary and establishment; less than two per cent is earmarked for modernisation. The director can’t even reallocate funds without govt approval.
  • Functional autonomy: In Dec 2012, as many as 1,176 CBI posts were vacant. The govt is sitting over proposals to amend recruitment rules for over a year. The SC is hearing a PIL to allow direct recruitment.
  • Autonomy for prosecution: The...


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