New Delhi : Under intense pressure from the CBI on account of Coal-gate investigations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh taught some basic lessons to the agency on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
“It is also important that errors of judgment are distinguished from criminal acts. As I have said on earlier occasions, decision-making in a world of uncertainty is a risky operation and some decisions which appear sensible ex-ante may ex-post turn out to be faulty,” he told an international conference being attended by representatives of 21 countries.
His stress on making this distinction is a thinly-disguised reference to the latest FIR filed by the CBI in the Coal-gate scam that has references to Birla group chairman Kumaramanglam Birla and then the coal secretary Parakh who in turn directly attacked the PMO.
The Prime Minister’s next observation established the link to Coal-gate.” A trained mind is necessary for discovering criminality. When a charge-sheet is filed, it must go through rigorous process of scrutiny and there must be a high chance of securing conviction in that case. This highlights the need for greater professional expertise in the CBI, including from non-police organisations,´ he added.
It is worth mentioning that after the said charge-sheet was filed the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha has expressed doubts about the possibility of conviction.
The Prime Minister also assured the CBI about taking necessary steps to ensure about its legality that has come under a cloud after the recent judgment by the Gauhati High Court but has been stayed by the apex court. ”Some questions have come up recently about the legality of the CBI. Our Government will look into this seriously and promptly. This is a matter that will undoubtedly have to be considered also by the highest court in the land. The Government will do all that is necessary to establish the need for the CBI and its legitimacy, and protect its past and future work,” he added.
On the crucial issue of autonomy for the CBI, he clarified that in so far as police work is concerned there is no interference from anyone except the seniors but cautioned that the administrative set up has to be so managed that the fear of the unknown must not lead to paralysis in decision-making. He added that policy-making is a complex process and no policing agency must sit in judgment on it unless there is any evidence of mala fide conduct.