Several defence procurement deals are already under C&AG’s scanner.Would it be ethical for new C&AG to scrutinize, without bias, his own decisions on defence procurement  during his long stay of ten years in MOD, as Joint Secretary /DG (Acquisitions)/ Addl Secretary and  Defence Secretary.His brilliance is not in question. But, the existing process of selecting C&AG  is arbitrary, discretionary,based on pick-and-choose. It does not have elements of  “due diligence” and consideration of “ totality of circumstances”, to guard against possible misuse of unfettered discretion by the ruling dispensation. Is this an example of Good Governance that the Congress-led depleted UPA-II took pride in its achievement report? What is the solution?Could the new C&AG recuse himself from handling all such controversial cases (Read as Scams) due to “conflict of interest”?

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The CBI  betrays  its own  infirmity  while  demanding functional  autonomy .The  existing dispensation of rules including CrPC, bestows sufficient autonomy on Director CBI to exercise its  unfetterd authority for  investigating  high profile cases of malfeasance against politicians , businessmen and top bureaucrats.All former Directors of CBI discharged their duties  freely and without interference by the political class. The evil raised its head, of late, more particularly under the  present political dispensation .Successive Directors could not insulate themselves from political interference. This had a cascading effect on the morale and efficiency of the otherwise professional disciplined forces. This is a personality –related problems. Director ,CBI is finding it difficult to resist pressure from the political class  as he expects  to be rewarded with gubernatorial  or Commissions’ appointments immediately  after expiry of  his  two year tenure in CBI. This could be overcome by enhancing the tenure of  Director CBI to five years by making the upper age limit as flexible.Consider another problem.There is a perennial war going on within the CBI between the IPS deputationists and CBI’s  in-house professionals, encadred with the Bureau. Officers of the latter category hate to serve under superiors who are usually IPS deputationists from different State governments, encadred with the union Home ministry. Their  cases of  deputation under central staffing pattern, are processed by DOP&T. The deputationists are thus  vulnerable to political pressures and their acolytes in bureaucracy. It is understood that,at present,officers , inspectors and sub-inspectors etc from from paramilitary security forces  like the  ITBP, CRPF, CISF etc  with no  effective  investigative  skills ,are being taken on deputation into  CBI ,blocking the career prospects of the “sons of the soil”,the original natives of the Bureau. The  has also adversely impacted  the quality of investigation in the CBI.The IAS officers are considered Manusmriti’s highest varna. There is a perennial undeclared war between the IAS and the IPS for One-upmanship.The IAS coterie is always finding  justification  for
controlling the IPS through cadre control, processing deputation,  finalizing  selection of Director and his team of officers in the
CBI etc. Granting  Constitutional  status  to CBI will be disastrous as we would be creating a Frankenstein with unbridled power that could arrest anyone. Making the CBI a  Statutary body  like the CVC ,could be considered provided it is taken out of CVC suprindence .What supervisory controle was exercised by the CVC when the Director CBI shared the draft affidavit  with the PMO, Coal ministry and the Law ministry?The selection of Director CBI may be carried out by a collegium of  the CJI, PM and  LOP ( Lok Sabha) and after considering  a shortlist of names  recommended  by  a body of DGs Police in the country. The peer group is the best source to certify the credentials of the fellow IPS officers.

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Bhakshak  cannot be Rakshak.This is how one would like to term the appointment of former Defence Secretary as the new C&AG. The intelligence of Shashikant Sharma is not underquestion.His pliability and loyalty to the ruling dispensation,certainly raise questions about the fairness of his selection as C&AG.The  opaque selection mechanism  grants unfettered discretion to GOI to select any Tom,Dick and Harry for the august office of C&AG without regard to his/her credentials.Having served in MOD for eleven  years as Joint Secretary/ DG (Accquisition)/Addl Secretary and finally as Defence Secretary, is sufficient ground to develop vested interests.Why was he exempted from the normal rule of rotational transfer?Was there a lobby to protect him? What was St Antony doing in his chamber in South Block  except dotting the  “i ” and dashing  the “ t” of defence procurement policy?How would Shashi Kant .the new C&AG summon the scams files from MOD which have been processed and approved by him? He would defend all GOI’s decisions and get himself shielded in the process.His appointment is reminiscent of the selection of P J Thomas as the CVC, which was quashed by the Supreme court, leading to his unceremonious exit and embarrassment to GOI. Will the history be repeated due to direct involvement of “clash of interests”? At least,so it seems.

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Appointment of Shashikant Sharma as C&AG has all the ingradients of a scam . His brilliance is not in question. But,his pliability and loyalty to the political executive have  been rewarded despite involvement of  “conflict of interests”.Several defence procurement scams are under probe by the CBI.Critical observations have been made by former C&AG in various cases of defence procurements. Would it be ethical on part of new C&AG to scrutinize his own decisions on defence procurement that were earlier processed and approved by him as Defence Secretary?His long stay of ten years in MOD, as Joint Secretary /DG (Acquisitions)/ Addl Secretary and  Defence Secretary is questionable. These questions are  doing the rounds in the corridors of power. Strangely, there is, presently, no mechanism in place to finalise the selection of C&AG or such Constitutional appointees with due diligence and after taking into account the totality of circumstances so as to guard against possible misuse of unfettered discretionary powers by the ruling dispensation. Is this called Good Governance; the Congress-led UPA-II is taking credit for? Could the new C&AG recuse himself from handling such cases due to “conflict of interest”?

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One wonders how could such unethical practices go on in the cricketing world without the knowledge of BCCI and IPL team owners.They should all be put under CBI radar. The politicians, businessmen heading the two sports bodies and their corrupt officials must be forced to resign for their incompetence and ineffective monitoring.Instead of owning their responsibilities, they are indulging in blame games.
The Law minister ,Kapil Sibal, insists on bringing new Bill to fight betting in sports as though this is the  panacea for all evils. Despite several laws, murders  and rapes have not stopped. Delhi’s Police Commissioner takes pride in trumpeting his achievement as though he has caught three dreaded terrorists. Does he hold similar press conferences when children and women are raped in Delhi with uncanny regularity.
And, why does  the union Home Minister shower accolades on him for the job he is supposed to perform, any way.

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As per common perception, while, Manmohan Singh is the de jure head of GOI, Sonia Gandhi continues to be its de facto CEO occupying the only power centre in the present dispensation. As undisputed leader of the Indian national Congress, she deftly controls all Ministers as also the permanent Executive of the union of India, but,  without an iota of accountability. The Congressmen shudder to stand before her. Is this not due to her charismatic (Read as authoritarian ) personality? Against this background, why should she need the tag of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty? Unfortunately, she listens to her “Chaatukars” and treats  her detractors as enemies.This is inadviseable.

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Constituting a GOM for bringing autonomy to CBI is a charade of GOI (Read as the Congress party). It would be appropriate to call for an all parties meeting to deliberate upon the draft Bill.The Congress cannot decide unilaterally on this sensitive matter in the context of severe indictment by the Supreme court calling the CBI as a caged parrot.The Congress should feel ashamed of it and advise Digvijay Singh to shut up and not cast aspersions on SC’s wisdom.The Congress must also stop deciding cases on political considerations. Who prevented the CBI from going slow in pursuing DA cases against Mayavati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav? They are all extending outside support to the Congress-led UPA-II. A CBI-designated court exonerated former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in a DA case. Despite the CBI having a strong case against him, the law ministry did now allow the CBI to appeal. Also, the CBI cannot initiate investigations against a government officer of the rank of Joint Secretary and above without the concurrence of the Central government. There are 30 such cases pending with the GOI. Even for prosecution, the CBI needs to seek GOI’s permission . A CBI officer cannot go out of India for investigations without the permission of the Central government. Investigators need to travel in today’s world, even if only to track black money or unaccounted money in foreign banks. The CBI needed to chase Quattrocchi, once the prime accused in the Bofors case. The law ministry recommended closure of the case, because the investigations could not be completed due to political interferences. Quattrocchi escaped in the process.There was deliberate delay in MOF in sanctioning the foreign tour of CBI team.The case was closed.

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The DNAs of dalits and non-dalits,are made of same nucleotides.What hurts me is the discriminatory privileges permanently reserved for one category in the name of “Affirmative Action”. This creates heart burnings and helps Indian politicians to exploit caste-based vote banks. Let us make a beginning by abolishing the menace of casteism in a phased manner. For instance,instead of thinly spreading the benefits of reservation in SC/ST categories across the board, it would be meaningful to focus these to the really disadvantaged groups at the lower echelons by extending the principle of creamy layer to SC/ST categories,too .

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WHILE GOING TO THE UNION ACADEMY ,NEW DELHI IN CLASS 5, I PAID BRIBE TO TRAFFIC CONSTABLE, MANY TIMES OVER FOR DOUBLE RIDINGS ON A RICKETY BICYCLE. THERE WAS NO ANTI-GRAFT MOVEMENT THEN. WE DID NOT KNOW THAT BRIBE GIVING WAS AS MUCH A SIN AS BRIBE TAKING. THAT WAS AGE OF INNOCENCE. ESCAPING SHARP EYE OF TRAFFIC CONSTABLE WAS CONSIDERED AN ACHIEVEMENT.

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GOI announcing end of face-off with withdrawal of forces by India and China from Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh, is fallacious.How could India withdraw from its own territory?If India’s sovereignty does not extend to DBO sector,how could we treat this as Chinese incursion? This is not a victory of Indian diplomacy but capitulation.

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About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.


You can contact me at

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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