Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh on Sunday asked the opposition-ruled state governments to rethink on withdrawal of general consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate cases.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS for PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Dr Jitendra Singh said the central government is committed to uphold, preserve and strengthening independence and autonomy of CBI and all other institutions.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony at CBI Headquarters in New Delhi, Dr Singh said, zero-tolerance for corruption, transparency and citizen centricity are the three main Mantras that determine the administrative outlook of the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Union Minister Singh said, irrespective of ideological beliefs, it is the collective responsibility of all to strengthen institutions like CBI, as these institutions also contribute to strengthening the nation’s resolve to achieve the ultimate goal of incorruptibility in society.
Besides CBI Director Subhodh Kumar Jaiswal, those prominently present on the occasion included Central Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N. Patel, Union Secretary, DoPT, P.K. Tripathy, Special Director, CBI, Praveen Sinha, senior officials, recipients of awards for distinguished service and their family members.
Dr Jitendra Singh said to fulfil the commitment of zero tolerance against corruption and unaccounted money, a range of initiatives have been taken by the Modi government over the last 7 years.
He said soon after taking oath as the Prime Minister on May 26, 2014, the very first Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi took the decision to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to unearth the black money.
Singh said since 2014, there have been a series of reforms including the amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, setting up of the office of Lok Pal and instantly placing all the government decisions including the ACC decisions in public domain for enhanced transparency.
The Union Minister pointed out that more than 1,500 laws have been abolished in the past years and various rules and regulations have been simplified, said a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
Expressing concern over certain states withdrawing the general consent to CBI to investigate cases but nevertheless holding on the prerogative to give selective consent where it suits them,
Dr Jitendra Singh called for wider introspection by the polity, the society and the nation at large whether this is the kind of propriety which is to be followed by a ruling government in a state.
He emphasized that these State Governments have to come clear and state whether they trust CBI or not, or whether they trust CBI selectively as they continue to give selective consent in cases which suit them.
The Union Minister called upon these State governments to rethink on the decision of withdrawal of general consent to CBI to investigate cases.
Union Minister Singh reminded that many cases are also referred to CBI by the states under public pressure which indicates that people have greater trust in CBI.
Similarly, complex and urgent cases are also assigned to CBI by the judiciary on many occasions, he added.
Drawing attention to the Prime Minister’s address in October this year, wherein Singh said, “New India is no longer ready to accept that corruption as part of the system,” adding, “Efforts are afoot at a fast pace to make the system transparent, efficient and smooth.”
He said, prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was amended after 30 years in 2018 to introduce a number of new provisions including criminalizing the act of giving bribe also in addition to taking bribe and at the same time putting in place an effective deterrence for such actions by individuals as well as corporate entities.
Singh said the commitment of the present government is to bring in more transparency, more citizen centricity and more accountability in governance and is indicated by its decisive initiatives to operationalize the institution of the Lokpal in the country to check corruption at high places.
Speaking on the occasion, CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal congratulated all the CBI awardees.