Former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Joginder Singh has said that he had no hope from any government to make the CBI independent in the near future.
"I am a person who is ready to believe even a devil for something positive. But, I have no hope that the CBI or any other investigative agency will get independence in the near future."
He was here to participate in the prize distribution function of Guru Harkrishan Public School on Saturday.
When asked if the incumbent government, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will keep its promise of giving more independence to the CBI, he said, "I have met all the prime ministers (PMs) from the '90s onwards on the same issue. I pitched the issue of CBI independence with every prime minister."
He further said, "One of the prime ministers explained his position very clearly by asking me that how can they give their powers to me (CBI)? There is no political will to make the CBI independent."
"Judiciary, comptroller and auditor general (CAG) and the election commission (EC) have been given independence to a large extent and all these institutions are doing well. So, now time has come that the government must experiment with investigative agencies by giving them independence. I am very sure that it will also work like judiciary, CAG and the EC."
"All governments work towards keeping CBI and other investigative agencies under their control. The CBI cannot launch investigation on its own until the state or the central government asks for it. If a minister asks a CBI officer to show the file, then he has to because there are many ways a minister can get the file even if the officer says no to the minister," said Joginder Singh.
When asked if the image of a stronger PM at the Centre will help the CBI get independence in any way, he said, "I will not make any political comment. But, I know that they (political bosses) did not make it independent in the past and they will not do make it independent in future."
"We have been working under the laws made in the British era. How can can expect these old laws to work for investigative agencies in the presnt times. Now, there has been some change in the rape law and the victim's statement has become relevant in registering an FIR. But, we have worked in the times, when we were told to bring evidence before registering any case of rape. There is urgent need to bring the required changes in other laws as well," said Joginder Singh.