‘Politicians will change with time, but you are permanent’: CJI NV Ramana to investigative agencies

Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Friday said that the credibility of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been frequently questioned. Now its credibility is in question. Speaking at a function of the central agency, he suggested that “gaining the trust of the people” is the need of the hour and the first step for this would be to “break the political and executive nexus”.

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CJI Ramanna said, “There is an urgent need of an institution which can bring various agencies like CBI, SFIO, ED under one roof. This body is required to be created under a law. It is necessary to clearly define its powers, functions and jurisdiction.”

He said, “This independent and impartial authority should be appointed by a committee like the one to appoint the directors of the CBI. The head of the organization may be assisted by experts in various fields.”

In a lecture on “Democracy: Role and Responsibilities of Investigative Agencies”, Justice Ramana explained how the police system in India evolved from the British period. Chief Justice Ramana said, “People hesitate to approach the police in times of despair. The image of the institution of police is regrettably tarnished by allegations of corruption, police excesses, lack of impartiality and close nexus with the political class. Often police officers come to us saying that they are being harassed after the change in power. Politicians will change with time, but you are permanent.”

CJI NV Ramana

In this context, the Chief Justice accepted that unlike the police, investigative agencies have the disadvantage of not having constitutional backing. He said, “The police system gets its legitimacy from the Constitution. Unfortunately the investigative agencies still do not have the advantage of being guided by the law.”

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