Sunday, January 26, 2020

Crisis in Indian Democracy

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 06, 2019 10:43 pm

Pillars of democracy are shaking. Basic spirit of the Constitution is being flouted more often than not. Political power is being used as licence to indulge in corrupt practices. Cracks are visible everywhere – judiciary, legislative and executive. Media, the fourth pillar of democracy has ceased to play constructive role for long. Where are we heading as a nation?
“A constitutional crisis is in the offing,” opined Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while making a statement on recent ‘Kolkata Crisis’ in Lok Sabha. The Union Home Minister was not exaggerating. Such a situation was created last Sunday in Kolkata when handful of CBI officers knocked at the door of city Police Commissioner’s house. What prompted CBI to go there? The explanation given by the premier investigative agency of the country is that team wanted to interrogate the Police Commissioner. The agency is suspecting that the high ranking police official had destroyed some crucial evidence in his capacity of being the head of a SIT formed to investigate the matter. Did the agency seek the permission of State administration before going for the raid? The agency’s reply is that as the investigation is being conducted under the supervision of Supreme Court, green signal from the State is not required.

But all the explanations given by CBI came to a naught when it came to light that the agency did not inform the Supreme Court specifically about the non-cooperation of the official concerned in the investigation. This very act of CBI gives an impression of political vendetta. CBI began investigating the case in 1914 and had arrested few powerful persons. But the task of bringing the culprits to book has not progressed even an inch. Moreover, it can’t be overlooked that all high profile arrests in this case were made when noise was made to highlight the failures of the Centre. It is not happening in Bengal alone, all over the country CBI is targeting those who are voicing out against the Centre. Is CBI being used to settle political scores?

At the same time, for whatever purpose CBI is being used, no reasons can justify the act of the West Bengal government. The Chief Minister herself went to the residence of the Police Commissioner. From there she announced an indefinite dharna at the heart of the city. The Chief Minister was well within her rights to protest against high handedness of CBI. She could even speak to the Prime

Minister to lodge her protest. She had the options to go for legal remedy. But instead of taking these options, she straightaway took the fight to the streets. Did she stop to think that her actions will create a negative impact in the minds of citizens about Constitution and Institutions? If every dispute is settled on streets, what is the use of having so many institutions in the country? Is it democracy?

More painful is the role of the apex court of the country. Its directive definitely has averted the imminent crisis. But it didn’t make an attempt to wipe out the crisis from its root. Why is it silent on the perpetrators of the crisis? Why didn’t it exercise its power as the ‘custodian of Constitution’ to formulate a clear cut guideline for the CBI while investigating such crimes? Why were no efforts made to free the ‘caged parrot?’ It should realise that till all parrots are free from cages, spring will continue to evade Indian democracy.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 06, 2019 10:43:10 pm