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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BJP’s offer for supporting the Congress sponsored Food Security Bill in return for sacking its Coal and Law ministers, shows former’s impish humour.While the Railgate is a scam, the proposed Food security Bill will promote corruption and enhance inflation.How could GOI turn a blind eye to C&AG critique of MNREGA? How will funds be raised to operationalise the scheme,perceived by the Congress as its game changer?

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The attempt by a Delhi Police SHO at bribing parents of a 5 year old rape victim in return for not filing the FIR, an ACP slapping girl protestors in Delhi and the Supreme court’s strictures of “ Delhi Police having gone berserk”, have jolted the conscience of every thinking indian.The insensitive and rapacious Central and State Police forces with exploitative lethargy, have failed to discharge their legitimate duties.They do it only when paid, what is euphemistically called the “Speed Money”. Police is a State subject.Here are some suggestions to overcome the problem. (a) Filling of vacancies at officers level and lower cadres,on fast track basis; (b) Restricting security covers to VVIPs excluding the ineligibles , extra-Constitutional and private persons; (c) Bringing pressures through political interference in service matters must attract conduct rules for defaulters.This is never done,at present; (d ) DCPs, ACPs and SHOs must be held personally responsible for failure of law and order machinery. They must be show-caused for their failures and appropriate penalties imposed for dereliction of duties; (e)Policing the police by strengthening preventive vigilance and speeding up disciplinary proceedings against the corrupt is necessary; (f ) Installing CCTVs at all police stations to be monitored by seniors; (g) Corruption in Police starts with the ‘duty officers’ for resisting registration of FIRs. Refusal against registration of FIRs , must attract severe punishment on defaulters in terms of Supreme court’s directions as reproduced in MHA’s circular; (h) Uplifting the investigative and crowd management skill of policemen and expose them to gender sensitization. (i) Withdrawing services of all constable and orderlies deployed by senior police officers for performing domestic chores. This is a legacy from colonial rule.

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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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