Monday, December 12, 2011

Kejriwal ridicules CBI director’s selection process, narrates story on PM’s tea talk

Questions on Ashwani Kumar's (right) appointment
IN AN attempt to make a strong case to bring India’s top investigating agency CBI under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal, Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal questioned the current selection process of the CBI director and narrated a story of how an honest IPS officer, ML Sharma, was once deprived of becoming CBI director even after Prime Minister had invited him for a cup of tea and congratulated him. According to Kejriwal, Sharma, then a special director of CBI, distributed laddu (sweets) in the office only to find in the next day that it was not he but then Himachal Pradesh DGP and 1973 batch IPS Ashwani Kumar, who was appointed as director of the agency, Indian counterpart to American FBI. While speaking at a gathering at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday, Kejriwal was referring to the incident that took place over three years ago when UPA-I led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was at the helms.
For the record, ML Sharma is a 1972 batch Rajasthan cadre IPS who had handled high profile cases like that of Priyadarshini Mattoo and Uphaar tragedy during his 17 years stay in CBI. Incidentally, Sharma is a batch-mate of another prominent Team Anna member and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi.
Here is how Kejriwal narrated the incident of PM’s invitation of ML Sharma for a cup of tea just one day before he was denied the post. A number of prominent political leaders including Arun Jaitley of BJP, AB Bardhan of CPI, Brinda Karat of CPI (M) were present when Kejriwal spoke during anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare’s one-day-long token fast at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday in support of a strong Lokpal law. Kejriwal said:
Let me tell you how CBI director is selected. For CBI director, they (government) say there is an independent committee. That comprises Chief Vigilance Commissioner, DoPT secretary and home secretary, and these three men do the selection. Mr Ashwani Kumar became CBI director…let me tell you how he was selected. ML Sharma was a special director in CBI. He is considered to be very honest. He was already selected. After he was selected, he was invited by the Prime Minister for a cup of tea. He was congratulated. PM said, tomorrow you will get the order. Congratulations. In the evening he (Sharma) came back to the office and distributed laddu (sweets). The next day when the order was issued Ashwani Kumar’s name was there (as CBI director). ML Sharma’s name was missing. This is the selection process of the CBI director in our country. If CBI director is selected this way, he can only be used to save the coalition government. He can’t be used to weed out corruption. We want CBI director should not be selected through Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition…. CBI director should be selected by 11-Member Lokpal. CBI’s budget should be under Lokpal.
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  1. A division of CBI, or inclusion of CBI in Lokpal will be unhealthy. What's needed is to devise ways to make CBI autonomus. A Lokpal-controlled CBI means you are giving absolute power to one entity. We do need a strong Lokpal but it should not be at the cost of all other institutions that exist to deter corruption. Otherwise, a day will come when a corrupt/stubborn Lokpal may spoil the basic structure of the Constitution. Just because there are state elections ahead, and Congress and BJP both have stakes in it, they should not blindly accept anything and everything for political advantages. There should be an attempt to strengthen anti-corruption mechanism, but political parties should not re-write the Constitution. The future generation will invariably blame the ruling party and the principal Opposition for that.

  2. After all CBI is basically Corrupt & Bribed Investigators (CBI). One has to just look into the number of Congress Party cases that the CBI has hushed up. If this is the track record of CBI, no doubt CBI is an unfair, partial, and biased, agency created to cover up the tracks of Congress Party misdeeds. CBI has been doing this faithfully since 1947. CBI cannot be compared to FBI of USA, which under oath to the US Congress CANNOT LIE (i.e. PERJURE).

  3. first of all let us find out the background of the person who could stall the appointment of Mr M L Sharma. He belongs to what backrgound. His past service record. His closeness with the politicians. It appears that Mr Kumar proved more influential than Mr Sharma due to his proximity to 10 Janpath with whom he served in SPG