New Delhi, April 15: Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi Tuesday said the CBI should be brought back under the ambit of RTI Act and it should become “a people’s partner” to combat corruption.
Delivering the annual D.P. Kohli Memorial Lecture here organised by the CBI, Gandhi said the “RTI-trained public” won’t accept corruption and “it will expect, prod and make the CBI an instrument of change”.
“It is important, therefore, that the CBI establishes a partnership with the people of India,” he said, addressing an audience that included former and present directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“At present, the CBi and the people of India are poles apart. The CBI is clothed in opacity, then ornamented by secrecy and finally perfumed by mystery.
“This,” he added, “has to change.”
Gandhi pointed out that for a short time the CBI — the country’s premier investigation agency — came under the RTI act.
“The heavens did not fall during that time. But the triple wrappings of opacity, secrecy and mystery made it move to be taken out of the purview of the RTI Act.
“This is a great pity. The CBI is about investigation into corruption and certain crimes. It is not (a) security or intelligence agency.
“And even if some aspects of its investigation needed protection against disclosure, there are enough provisions under the RTI Act’s exemption clauses to have come to the CBI’s aid.
“But to remove the CBI from the purview of the RTI Act altogether is, to my mind, not just un-transparent but unwise and ultimately harmful to the CBI’s future as a people’s partner in the resistance to corruption and crime.
“The CBI has nothing to lose and everything to gain by partnering (with) the pole of India,” Gandhi said.