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Silent Warfare

Silent Warfare

Author: Coomi Kapoor
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: May 22, 2005

The Department of Personnel has written to CBI Director US Mishra asking him to clarify whether the views attributed to him in an interview to a Delhi Newspaper last month were, in fact, his own. The government feels that the CBI director overstepped his brief by claiming that the autonomy of the CBI was a myth and that there were many pressures on the bureau. He even referred to the cases being closed against a former petroleum minister (presumably Satish Sharma) under pressure.

Misshra who has seven months left as director cannot be removed since he has a protected tenure under the new rules put in place by the Supreme Court. The CBI chief has been a thorn in the UPA Government's side from the start. One of the CBI's first acts after the installation of the Manmohan Singh government was to issue a red corner notice to Ottavio Quattrochhi, Far from being crowed down by the Government's disapproval, the director seems to have gone into overdrive, doggedly following up the cases against Mayawati for disproportionate assets. With the BSP chief now threatening to withdraw support to the UPA Government, the Government is hard put to explain that the CBI is not acting at his bidding.

Parallels are sought to be drawn to Joginder Singh who as CBI chief registered cases against the government's allies and helped bring about the downfall of the Deve Gowda government. But the comparison is not apt, Singh was a maverick. Mishra a conscientious professional.

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