Building faith in India’s investigative agencies:
- The police and investigative agencies may have de-facto legitimacy, but as institutions, they are yet to gain social legitimacy.
- Police should work impartially and focus on crime prevention.
- The CBI possessed immense trust of the public in its initial phase.
- But with the passage of time, like every other institution of repute, the CBI has also come under deep public scrutiny. The need of the hour is to reclaim social legitimacy and public trust.
Issues affecting the system and causing delay in trial
- Lack of infrastructure, lack of sufficient manpower, inhuman conditions, especially at the lowest rung, lack of modern equipment.
- Questionable methods of procuring evidence, officers failing to abide by the rule book and the lack of accountability of erring officers.
- Lack of public prosecutors and standing counsels, undue imprisonment of undertrials, change in priorities with the change in the political executive, cherry-picking of the evidence, and repeated transfers of officers.
- Break the nexus with political executive: The first step to reclaim social legitimacy and public trust.is to break the nexus with the political executive.
- Reform of the police system is long overdue in our country.
- Comprehensive law: Our investigative agencies still do not have the benefit of being guided by a comprehensive law.
- Independent and autonomous investigative agency: The need of the hour is the creation of an independent and autonomous investigative agency.
- Umbrella organisation: There is an immediate requirement for the creation of an independent umbrella institution, so as to bring various agencies like the CBI, SFIO, and ED under one roof.
- One additional safeguard that needs to be built into the scheme, is to have separate and autonomous wings for prosecution and investigation, in order to ensure total independence.
- Ensure women’s representation: An issue that needs addressing at this stage is the representation of women in the criminal justice system.
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