23 April, 2021

Unwatched Watchdog

A PIL questions the very legitimacy of the IB

Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Unwatched Watchdog

No whereofs to it?

  • A PIL filed in and admitted by the Karnataka High Court asks if the IB is “extra-constitutional”
  • The IB hasn’t been constituted under an Act of Parliament, does not have a charter of duties
  • The British set it up in 1887
  • The court has served notices on the home ministry and the IB


Is the Intelligence Bureau (IB) really “extra-constitutional” and “illegitimate”? After all, it’s described as a major constituent of our internal security apparatus. R.N. Kulkarni, who served in the IB for over three decades and retired as joint assistant director, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Karnataka High Court questioning the agency’s legitimacy. The court has admitted the petition and served notice on the Union home ministry and the IB. It comes up for hearing on July 11.

Kulkarni’s main contention is that the IB exists in a...

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