Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing a Union Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 24 October, spoke about the alleged bribery case that has the country’s premier investigation agency – the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – in a mess.
Jaitley, when asked about his stand on the issue, said maintaining the institutional integrity of the CBI should be the prime concern.
CBI is this country’s premier investigative agency. And that is why, maintaining its institutional integrity is important for any sort of investigation. Its a pre-condition.Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
The finance minister also said it has been the CBI’s history that all the cases that are of high importance are preferably given to the bureau due to its institutional integrity, if that is at stake, it is a big issue.
It has been the CBI’s history that any important matter that comes up, people demand for a CBI investigation, because of its institutional integrity.
He also said incidents like these give outsiders a chance to point fingers at the country.
Jaitley also defended the government’s action of sending the two officers on leave by saying that it merely acted on the recommendations of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
The CVC in its meeting, recommended that the allegations cannot be investigated by the two officials themselves, and neither can it be done by an agency under their supervision. Hence, to maintain the institutional integrity of the CBI, purely as an interim measure, they will sit out by going on leave for a while, and an SIT not functioning under either of these two officers will investigate. This is in accordance of highest standards of fairness.Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister