Over a decade after the Supreme Court freed the CBI from direct government control, Vineet Narain — who had moved the court in 1993 over Jain hawala diary case — said the earlier SC directive had not resulted in a qualitative change in the CBI’s functioning.
Narain had moved the SC to force the CBI to probe the Jain hawala diary case in October 1993. A shoddy probe by the CBI let over 100 politicians and bureaucrats off the hook. But it led to the SC directive that protects senior CBI officers from arbitrary transfers.
Narain said it was time to revamp the 1997 directives to make a real difference. “I hope something comes out of this time,” he said, pointing that the 1997 verdict had not resulted in a “qualitative change”.
Narain, however, conceded he didn’t expect a miracle that would set everything right in one stroke. “But let us take a few positive steps at a time.”
One way to make the CBI autonomous is to appoint a retired judge to head the Central Vigilance Commission to oversee CBI probes. Such a CVC should also have administrative and financial control over the CBI.