CBI in the news for wrong reasons

Monday Musing

[ Tongam Rina ]

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – the agency investigating the discrepancies in the examinations conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) since 2014 – has been in the news recently.

The Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee has raised serious questions over the sincerity of the CBI, and called out the agency for appointing a counsel who formerly represented Taket Jerang, the main accused in the AE paper leak case.

In another instance, the sessions court in Yupia granted bail to an accused in the APPSC AE paper leak case because the CBI failed to file a chargesheet within the stipulated time.

Looking at these two recent events, the CBI seems to be living up to its reputation of lacking integrity and being inefficient.

This won’t be the last time that we will be hearing about the CBI failing to file a chargesheet, given that the agency’s office in Itanagar is understaffed and the current case in hand is massive, encompassing several exams conducted since 2014.

It may take time for the CBI to understand how much and many are at stake in the APPCS case. The sooner the better, so that the agency can take over from where the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) left.

To the SIC’s credit, it managed to arrest as many as 46 people till it formally handed over the case to the CBI in early January. People in the know say that the SIC had zeroed down on some more individuals while it was handing over the case to the CBI. Those arrests are yet to be made by the CBI. Is the delay being caused by anticipatory bails being granted and there being not enough evidence – or is it because the CBI is yet to actually and seriously start the investigation?

It is fair that thorough investigation will take a lot of time, but it is also a fact that the CBI has a poor conviction rate.

The CBI should respect the deadline and file chargesheets on time. It needs to dig deeper and faster, given the importance and urgency of the case.

Employment opportunities were denied to so many young people of the state, who spent years preparing for the exams conducted by the commission, because of paper leaks. Now the CBI and the state have the opportunity to amend. It should not be lost because the people of the state, more so the government job aspirants, deserve a closure.

I still wonder why and how people like Taket Jerang operated without being caught for years together. Was it because many forgot to ask questions when someone asked for donation to buy government jobs? I don’t think anyone reported to the police when they were approached to contribute money to buy jobs by clan members or relatives.

It won’t just be money. Many must have bought land, beads, and other valuable traditional items, enabling families to buy jobs. Those who contributed in cash or kind to buy jobs are complicit too. If it was not for a Gyamar Padung, the trend would have continued.