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Don't question policy, Chidambaram tells CBI

Describing the CBI as a 'caged bird or the Congress Bureau of Investigation' is incorrect, finance minister P Chidambaram said today, rejecting allegations of govt's interference in the agency's working.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2013 20:26 IST

Describing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a “caged bird or the Congress Bureau of Investigation” is incorrect, finance minister P Chidambaram said on Tuesday, rejecting allegations of the central government's interference in the investigative agency's working.

“There are several myths about the CBI, ranging from the celebrated epithet ‘caged bird’ to the abusive nomenclature ‘Congress Bureau of Investigation’. None of the descriptions is correct or even well meaning,” said Chidambaram.

He, however, cautioned the CBI to respect the line that divides policy making and policing.

“It is not the business of the investigative agency to lay down a rule of conduct; nor is it the business of the investigating agency to presume a rule of conduct,” the former home minister said.

Speaking at the CBI’s international conference on ‘Evolving Common Strategies to Combat Corruption and Crime’, the finance minister said: “Some myths are carefully fostered and propagated in order to serve an immediate or narrow self-interest.”

“In lighter vain, I may say that sometimes the CBI itself pretends to be a helpless victim when it pleads for powers and greater autonomy,” he said.

Lauding the work of CBI, however, Chidambaram said: “In my view, the CBI is as good an investigation organisation as any other in the world. We are proud of the achievements of the CBI.”

In May this year, the Supreme Court had termed the CBI a ‘caged parrot’ that ‘speaks in its master's voice’ in a case related to the irregularities in the coal block allocation. Read More :Govt to move SC against HC calling CBI illegal

CBI director Ranjit Sinha's affidavit had stated that then law minister Ashwani Kumar and senior officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the coal ministry had vetted a CBI report on the coal block allocation before it was submitted to the apex court.

Read More: Manmohan cautions CBI against error of judgement

Read More: Manish Tewari had warned about CBI's weak legal foundations in 2009Read More: CBI altered ‘heart’ of coal report, is caged parrot: SC