The gross indiscipline displayed by the Chief of the CBI coupled with his insubordination calls for the most stringent disciplinary action under the service rules. No one in the government of India enjoys independence, unbridled autonomy or any kind of autocracy. Any officer resorting to any action exhibiting a streak of any of these drawbacks is either ignorant of the law or indulging in wilful violation of the law. That is the only conclusion one can draw from the functioning of Alok Verma, Director of the CBI, who has been sent on forced leave by the government on October 23.
The feud between Director Verma and the Special Director, Rakesh Asthana has been going on for over a year. It should have been nipped in the bud. But the Director seems not to have tried to restore discipline in the organisation. Worse, their fight has besmeared the Indian Police Service. It has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that high level of corruption among police officers is prevalent. Rakesh Asthana has unwittingly revealed the scale of bribe which runs into crores but masked as “complimentary”. This is the true face of corrupt police officers in India. Police is a state subject under the constitution of India. There lies the root of corruption, which is compared to a creeper named ‘Amarbel’ or the immortal creeper. It has no leaves, no flowers but entwines trees and can suffocate them in exactly the way the police has been doing to democracy in India.
It is not that the officers are born corrupt. No, they are not. They are made corrupt. It all started under the Congress rule after independence. The police officers were misused for furthering political interests of the ruling party. As the monolith Congress started weakening and regional parties came to power, decline in police administration became too apparent. Its worst use was during the black Emergency of 1975. During that darkest period of India, the Congress destroyed bureaucracy, the police force got politicised, corrupted and criminalised providing security to the criminals in politics and getting involved with them dreaming big returns. Loyalties changed from the Constitution of India to the political party. Bureaucrats loyal to the political party were assured to be taken care of even if punished by a court of law. Strong bonds of loyalty were forged not for a short time but lifelong.
That was not envisioned by the constitution. A public servant is a responsible employee of the state. S/he renders public service and has to deliver without any mischief. But in practice the opposite was true. Can a surgeon use freedom, independence or autonomy to thrust his blade in the patient on the operation table? The role of the public servant is no less important than the doctor’s. The fact that the three top officers in the CBI carried on their corrupt activities nonchalantly even after the prime minister had categorically announced in 2014 itself that he would neither take nor allow anybody else to take bribe, shows the arrogance of the corrupt in the CBI.
The fretting of the Congress Party over the delayed but decisive action by the government to remove the CBI Chief and the No.2 from office has sent shock waves to the party which was hoping to get support of the loyal bureaucrats, in particular the police force, in election 2019. The bureaucracy had helped them win elections in the past and defeat their rivals. They were depending on the loyal police officers in 2019. They were particularly hopeful of Director Alok Verma providing them explosive material to bomb the prime minister before the election. The frustration of the Congress is purely for the reason that Prime Minister Modi has checkmated them and deprived them of the services of Alok Verma, Asthana, Sharma (he was Additional Director) and a whole gang of loyalists. The curious case of Bishop Mulakkal of the Jalandhar Diocese is the latest illustration of misusing the police by the Congress. Bishop Mulakkal is accused of raping several times a nun under his charge. She has complained to the police and the Pope. The law for punishment of rape mandates immediate arrest of the rapist, but the Punjab police did not act (there will be any number of excuses for it) only because the state is ruled by the Congress government. The Chief Minister is a no nonsense man and would have taken action but must be under pressure from someone to treat the rapist with kindness. Bishop Mulakkal was arrested in Kerala but succeeded in getting bail from the High Court because the police did not to put a fool proof case before the court. The Congress is the ruling party in Kerala in coalition with other partners. How heavily the Congress has relied upon the services of loyal police officers should be clear to everyone. After release on bail, Bishop Mulakkal returned to Jalandhar to an organised welcome of sorts and within a weak the strongest witness Father Kurriacose of the Jalandhar Diocese died suspiciously on the premises in the Church. The Jalandhar police needs to do a fair probe in the circumstances. The CBI was treated similarly during the Congress Party led UPA-I & II (2004 to 2014).
Due to their loyalists in bureaucracy, they had succeeded in slowing action after Modi coming to power but were nursing hopes to make full use of the services of Alok Verma, Director of the CBI and the loyal team gathered by him. The Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi, who have been carrying a false propaganda of corruption in the government to government Rafale fighter jet deal, were desperately waiting for Alok Verma to “expose” something to taint the Prime Minister. They had already tried a bogus statement of former French President Hollande to attack Narendra Modi and got the egg on their face. Verma re-kindled Rahul Gandhi’s hopes of proving himself right and the prime minister corrupt. Actually, he is trying to take revenge for the Bofors scandal involving his father Late Rajiv Gandhi. Verma has proved his capability to frame the innocent by filing an FIR against Rakesh Asthana. If he could give such a raw deal to his No.2 in the hierarchy, the treatment he could have or would be giving to the ordinary citizen can be imagined. Certainly, this is not the kind of police we, the people of India, need.
The Congress chargers came to Verma’s defence in the name of investigation of the Rafale deal by him. They also termed the action as illegal as the government can’t remove the Director. It is a hoax of an argument and all concerned will shortly learn their lessons. The Congress is unlikely to come to power and the loyal gangs in all public services, police included, will not get rewarded. Unless they atone their past sins at the earliest, they should be ready for severe punishment for their misdeeds similar to what Verma, Asthana, Sharma and others have done.
For creating another set of such fiercely loyal officers, one has to be a corrupt politician. Narendra Modi does not fall in that category. In fact, he doesn’t fit in the company of such politicians. It costs the government millions of dollars to produce and shape a gem of an honest officer. The race of such officers had shrunken abysmally in the last 50 years! The few, who still remain on the margin need to be cultivated, encouraged and supported to deliver honest public service, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and dedication to the nation. The new recruits have to be put through a strict regimen of clean and transparent public service. Congressmukt Bharat is vulnerable to turn Congressyukta without the millions of public servants of this caliber.