One of the main arguments of Civil society to implement Jan Lokpal is that the CBI under government is a toothless tiger. Indian Booker prize-winning author Arundhati Roy and social activist Aruna Roy may not agree with Arvind Kejriwal on this, but government’s own data supports the need of independent monitoring body like Jan Lokpal.
In as many as 279 cases CBI is waiting for the sanction to prosecute senior government officials in corruption cases. These requests are pending with different Central and state government departments, in some cases for years.
As mentioned and repeatedly explained by Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, under the existing laws, the CBI is required to obtain sanction from a Central or state government department to prosecute a senior official.
If the top bosses want to save any corrupt official, they simply have to sit on the file and take no decision, the way Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit kept on hold the Parliament attack convict Afjal Guru’s file despite the final verdict of Supreme Court.
The highest number of cases which CBI wants to prosecute are 33 against officials in Assam ruled by Congress, while BJP coalition ruled Jharkhand government is holding request against 13 officials to be prosecuted.
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The Chief Minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda claims that his government is taking all the necessary steps to make the bureaucracy accountable to the people and cleanse the system of "babudom and nepotism", the government will bring bills on Right to Services Act and Information Technology Act in the monsoon session of the assembly which is scheduled to meet from August 26. If he is so committed, why is he shying away to grant permission to CBI?
The urban development ministry is sitting on applications to prosecute 14 CPWD officials, while 17 requests relating to officials of different coalfields are also pending. The CBI sought sanction to prosecute six customs officials based in Visakhapatnam on a single day — March 8, 2011. The railway ministry is also yet to sanction action against five senior officials — pending since March 31.
In short, each and every department and political party is alike on this matter. Next, question arises that, is CBI efficient to deal if the permission is granted? This is also doubtful. In January this year a Delhi court granted bail to former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) official Sanjay Mahendroo, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Queen's Baton Relay scam in London in 2009. The reason was that CBI had failed to file a charge sheet against him within the stipulated 60 days of his arrest.
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Other examples of CBI’s efficiency can be counted on fodder scam of Bihar, Bofors case which took the sacrifice of Rajiv Gandhi government. Most of the people have lost hopes from the existing system. That is the reason why Major General (retd) S.C.N. Jatar, resigned from the Aruna Roy’s outfit National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) after she criticised Anna Hazare’s movement.