Political Vendetta in India UPSC NOTE

 Supreme Court's proposed mechanism to address concerns about 

political vendetta

  • The Supreme Court’s suggestion for a mechanism to eliminate the perception of vendetta behind the use of investigative agencies against political opponents is sound in principle.

  • But may not address all aspects of the problem.

  • A case under formal investigation may be scrutinised for its legal tenability or political motive.

  • But such a mechanism can do nothing about offences and allegations that are covered up for political reasons. 

  • During a recent hearing on a bribery case against an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer in Tamil Nadu, the ED sought the transfer of the probe to the CBI. 

  • It also charged that the State police was not sharing details of FIRs it had registered on complaints against Ministers, officials and others in instances of corruption and illegal mining. 

  • The ED, presumably, wants to probe the money-laundering aspects of these offences, whereas the State government believes these details will be used to target its ministers and officials as the State is run by a party opposed to the ruling BJP at the Centre. 

  • The Bench’s idea that an independent, pan-India mechanism to vet such cases appears reasonable

  • However, much of the criticism of the use of central agencies against political adversaries of the BJP stems from the view that similar allegations against its party members and allies across the country are seldom investigated.

Complex issue of using investigative agencies in India for political purposes

  • Corruption allegations abound in several States against key political figures seen as friendly to the Centre, but the Opposition parties believe the CBI, ED and Income-Tax Department are hardly active there. 

  • The Bench is right in observing that offenders should not be spared only because they claimed to be victims of vendetta. 

  • Its remarks disapproving of retaliatory arrests are also salutary. 

  • However, despite the Solicitor-General’s argument that the courts could intervene in the case of vindictive action.

  • It has to be noted that the ED’s power to summon and arrest anyone, and the difficulty in obtaining bail in money-laundering cases, renders the Union government quite invincible if it chose persecution in the name of prosecution.

  • An unsavoury instance of how far politics over the use of central agencies can sully institutions is the recent episode of a Calcutta High Court judge ordering a CBI probe into charges against the ruling party in West Bengal, and a Division Bench staying the order. 

  • The single judge chose to ignore the Bench’s order, accusing its presiding judge of political motive

  • In a welcome move, the Supreme Court formed a Bench of its senior-most judges and transferred the whole case file to itself for disposal

  • The perception of vendetta can only be removed if all agencies chose independence over subservience.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Political Vendetta in India UPSC NOTE
Political Vendetta in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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