CBI vs CBI: Good riddance

The Government did the only thing that it could under the circumstances, dispatching on forced leave the number one and number two in the CBI who were fighting like Kilkenny cats and, thus, bringing a bad name to the premier investigating agency. The appointment of an interim head till a regular Director for the CBI is appointed by a three-member panel was also sensible. Alok Verma, the CBI Director who was engaged in a bitter feud with Special Director Rakesh Asthana, promptly approached the apex court to seek a stay on his removal. The court agreed to hear him on Friday.

Hopefully, Verma, who displayed poor leadership and an excess of personal pique and bitterness, would get no relief from the court, especially given the circumstances in which he sought to hound out Asthana. Filing of counter complaints by Verma and Asthana against each other and the arrest of a junior CBI official in this regard brought no honour to the agency. It merely dragged it further into the mud. What is required is a serious effort to vet all CBI officers for integrity and efficiency and then allow it a measure of autonomy to deliver on key investigations under its remit. Politicisation of the CBI must be avoided under all circumstances.

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