CBI is neither Congress Bureau of Investigation nor a caged bird : Chidambaram

Finance Minister P Chidambaram today dismissed the charge that the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, is being misused by the Congress. Addressing an international conference organised by the CBI in New Delhi, Mr Chidambaram said that none of the descriptions like “caged bird” and “Congress Bureau of Investigation” is correct about the agency. He said, some of the myths are carefully fostered and propagated to serve an immediate or narrow self interest. He also pointed out at the inherent contradiction between the demand by the same persons for more powers to the investigation agency and allegation of excesses.

The Finance Minister said, CBI is as good as any other investigation organization in the world and it has performed a difficult role, especially when the primary responsibility for enforcement of laws, lies with the states.

Later, Mr Chidambaram cautioned the investigating agencies to respect the line that divides policy making and policing. He said, it is neither the business of the investigating agency to lay down a rule of conduct, nor to presume a rule of conduct. He asserted that even where a rule has been prescribed and there is a policy behind that rule, it is not the business of the agency to question the wisdom of that policy or to suggest a different policy. Mr Chidambaram said, the agency must confine itself to the question whether there has been a violation of a laid down rule of conduct.

Stressing on the need for a variety of skilled persons in an investigating agency, the Finance Minister said, the CBI must recruit bankers, accountants, lawyers, fund managers and security experts and turn them into first rate investigators by giving them suitable training.

Replying to a query, the Finance Minister said that CBI should have functional autonomy apart from investigative autonomy. Mr Chidambaram however said, the CBI is part of the executive and as such it is bound by the general principles which apply to all wings of executive.