Sep 24, 2011, IIT, DELHI
Chaired by: Sh. Prabhanjan Verma, Senior Correspondent, IBN7
Speakers: Sh. Arif Mohammad Khan, Former Union Minister & Veteran Social & Political Thinker
Sh. Joginder Singh, Former Director, CBI & Policy Interventionist
Sh. Onkareshwar Pandey, Managing Editor, The Sunday Indian
Speaking at the seminar on Role of Youth in Nation-Building, Sh. Arif Mohammad Khan exhorted the youth to face the challenges of life honestly and courageously. The young generation needs to equip itself with necessary qualities that build a domestically strong nation, if India is to emerge as a world power. The present political situation, unfortunately, has degenerated so much that we are witness to criminals entering politics and parliament. Sh. Onkareshwar Pandey said that among the 500 Fortune companies, 200 are Indian and that is a lesson for the youth that there is nothing impossible and they can achieve more. He said, however, that apart from social and educational infrastructure it is integrity that counts in building life and nation. But that very quality is eroding today and, we lack leadership like Gandhiji’s and Vivekananda’s to take the country forward.
Sh. Joginder Singh, former CBI director, speaking on the occasion, focussed his attention on the burning issue of corruption as the youth of the country has a role in building a new India just by inculcating honesty in work culture. He told the gathering that in the context of the current nation-wide campaign against corruption; a significant question has cropped up, that why corruption is still thriving instead of the existence of the CBI. Sh. Joginder explained that the agency generally investigates cases which are essentially against Central Govt. employees or concerning affairs of the Central Govt or cases in which the financial interests of the Central Government are involved, or the cases, which may be referred to it by the State Governments. For investigation of cases in the States, it needs consent from the respective State Govts. There have been instances, where for political reasons, or to avoid investigation, State Governments refuse their consent. However, the constitutional courts, that is the High Courts and Supreme Court, can order CBI investigation, without any reference or concurrence of the State Governments.
He said the CBI cannot draw a road map for its functioning as it is not a constitutional institution like the Election Commission or the Judiciary. 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. The Government has more than one way to disable any independent functioning. The solution is to grant constitutional status to the CBI and give the wherewithal to the judiciary, including manpower and equipment, to ensure that no case remains pending beyond six months or a year. If the Lok Pal can get it done, then a good beginning in the fight against corruption would have been made.
With due apology to Anna Hazare, a Lok Pal, strong or weak, is not a panacea for tackling corruption, unless it is accompanied by equal reforms in the laws, criminal justice system and in the set-up of investigating agencies, both in the State and Centre. India has inherited the laws given to us by the British, who obviously did not want any independent institution, least of all, an investigating agency. It has suited the politicians after independence. Besides, there is hardly any preventive mechanism against crime and corruption, Sh. Joginder Singh added.