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Avoid controversy in choice of CBI head

The BJP’s opposition to the way that the CBI director has been zeroed in has its merits. The party has written to the PM saying that the appointment of the new CBI director Ranjit Sinha should not have been finalised in a huff when the Rajya Sabha select Committee had strongly recommended that an appointment like that of a CBI director should be done on recommendations by a collegium consisting of the PM, the leader of the opposition and the chief justice.

The report was to be tabled in the Parliament very soon and could have come as binding to the future appointment of the head of a body like the CBI. But the government did not wait for the tabling of the report which was unanimous and went ahead with the appointment of Sinha. That was deemed disagreeable by the BJP and rightly so. As a matter of fact, the appointment of CBI chief is not a matter of public concern but at the same time, the CBI should be headed by someone who is non-controversial and he should not come across as one who has his masters to pay back. In that regard the the BJP also clarified today that its opposition to the selection of Sinha is not personal but logistic and institutional and should not be seen  as any bias against an individual.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should not have gone ahead with the controversial appointment when things could have looked less partisan only a few days later. Once the report had been tabled and the collegium formed, the appointment could have come as less of a debatable one, even if  no one is, at the moment, pointing fingers at Sinha.  That way, the new head could have sat in his office more at ease with his appointment, knowing that his mandate has been validated by a legislative report.

But now that will not happen. The government should never consider an organisation like CBI as one which can be manipulated politically and to send that message out, the government has to be above partisan of party interests.  It is a critically important post and its head should be above the mechanisms of small and influential power relations that occupy much of government appointments.  By hurrying into the appointment, Manmohan Singh has lost another chance of being credible to recommendations from his colleagues which does not auger well with his reputation and office.
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