Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our system killed Aarushi

(Writer is IIMC alumnus and presently working in TV Today Group[Headlines Today])
It’s ‘Closing Bureau of Information’, someone twitted. WSJ India put the headlineWho Killed #Aarushi?No one, it seems.’ As the news of CBI closing the Aarushi case spread, the angst was quite palpable on the Internet. Many conspiracy theories were floated since the time this heinous crime was committed in May 2008. Many believed, it was an honour killing, while a smaller section of people opined that it was an outsider’s act. At that point only God knew who the perpetrators were and how Aarushi was killed. Then on June 1, the same year CBI took over the probe in the case. People hoped something would come out. But, after 31 month of so-called Investigation, CBI failed to do what it was meant to do. The tunnel ended without finding any light.

Aarushi : Murder mystery of the decade
Aarushi’s murder mystery is not the only case where the country’s premier agency, CBI, failed. There are other instances too. Ruchika Girhotra case, clean chit to Moninder Singh Pandher in Nithari case are some of the recent examples where CBI failed to stand up to the expectations. In both these cases the accused were rich, powerful but they never commanded the clout necessary for closure of their respective cases. At least for an observer like me who stands outside the system had the impression that justice will not be denied to the poor & helpless victims of these ‘mighty’. Nevertheless, CBI filed the closure report in Ruchika case saying the allegations levelled against Rathore were unfounded and baseless. The Nithari case also met the same fate. The investigation agency stated it did not find any evidence suggesting the children had gone missing from Nithari as the DNAs did not match.

And that’s not the end to the shoddy work CBI has been doing. The agency in October this year filed an application before the chief metropolitan court in Delhi seeking closure of the Bofors pay off case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi. In 1984 anti- Sikh riot case, in April this year, a city court let off senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler after accepting CBI’s closure report giving clean chit to him. The case of Quattrocchi & Tytler is understandable. Both issues were blot on the ruling party led by the Congress. The clean-chit must have come from the political bosses in the North Block who in turn must have received orders from No. 10. 

Justice late is justice denied 
Policing in multi-cultural country like ours has never been an easy task. Investigation still more difficult & daunting. With poor police-public ratio & obsolete investigation technologies it’s always a Herculean task to unfold the mystery of a crime. If this is not enough Government interference has always been there to use CBI as party’s policy tool to score Brownie points against the opposition. Remember the use of CBI during the UPA 1’s trust vote in 2008. The malaise is epidemic irrespective of the party in power. The harsh reality is that arresting those responsible for committing the crimes being investigated by the CBI, including corruption, is the last priority of any Government, notwithstanding the proclamations of the high and mighty regarding zero tolerance towards corruption. The plain truth is that no Government, irrespective of the party in power, wants an independent investigating agency or, for that matter, any independent institution which may not be willing to toe its line.

As on April 24 this year CBI has 9,000 cases pending in courts. 5,900 staff chasing 9,000 cases. Close to 2 cases each on the head of every CBI staff from Director to the orderly. At any given time there is 30 per cent vacancies in the Bureau. In Delhi alone, there are a total of 1,389 CBI cases pending in courts of which pendency in the six courts of special judges is at 927. Of these, 171 cases have been pending in courts for more than eight years, 51 cases for more than 15 years and 39 cases are awaiting closure for more than 20 years. Additionally, chargesheets have not been framed in 119 cases dealt with by the CBI, as per a Delhi Cabinet note.

CBI : Closing bureau of investigation
Talking about forensic expertise to deal with type of cases CBI does, the recent Medical Council of India (MCI) dictate have also dealt a severe blow to the discipline of forensic science and toxicology. The council slashed by one-third the requirement of qualified forensic teaching faculty in medical colleges across India. The move will cut over 300 teaching posts of forensic faculty in around 300 medical colleges. India is short of over 5,000 medico-legal experts for criminal investigations. Unlike other countries, in India, 90 per cent medico-legal work is being done by simple MBBS doctors with no forensic expertise.

If the current mess, in which our premier investigation agency is, persists, Aarushi’s killer will never be nabbed. We will have many more Nirupama Pathak. Innocent & poor will always be prey of ‘Pandhers’ roaming freely in our society. It’s high time now government must free CBI from its clutches. Vacancies should be filled immediately. Also need of the hour is better forensic technologies, that must be made available sooner the better. CBI needs teeth not just to show but also to bite when needed. Remember, as William Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, "Fear of death is worse than death itself". Time has come when our investigative agencies should inculcate confidence in the hearts and minds of the aam aadmi. At the same time, perpetrators must fear death. India can’t afford to have a ‘clueless’CBI.

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1 comment:

  1. आरुषि हत्याकांड को सुलझा पाने में सीबीआई की नाकामी यह बता गई कि सीबीआई कितनी नपुंसक हो गई है।