Topic Of The Day:-“Trouble At The Top: On Cbi Power Play”

Firm intervention is needed to end the unsavoury controversy in the CBI

At one level, what is going on in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a ‘turf war’, a battle of egos between two individuals at the helm. But the unsavoury developments involving the CBI Director and its Special Director are reflective of a much deeper malaise — a big rot at the very heart of the premier investigating agency. That the CBI registered a First Information Report against its own Special Director is extraordinary. The most troubling aspect of the ongoing crisis involving Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana is that only one of them will be proved right; either way, it is the agency that will be shown in a poor light. If the Director is justified in embarking on a high-profile probe into bribery charges against Mr. Asthana, it can only mean that corruption is so pervasive that even the second-in-command in the agency is not beyond demanding ₹3 crore to let someone off the hook. On the other hand, if Mr. Asthana is shown to be wrongly implicated, and his own charges — set out in a complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission — that other CBI officers are interfering in ongoing probes are proved right, the situation will be no better. It cannot be forgotten that this controversy was preceded only recently with two Directors of the CBI coming under a cloud. The Supreme Court held that the charges that Ranjit Sinha, when heading the agency, sought to help the accused in several cases and interfered in ongoing probes were ‘prima facie credible’; as a result, he was asked to keep away from the 2G telecom cases. Similarly, A.P. Singh, another director, was booked last year for alleged links with meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Clearly, the existing procedure for the appointment of CBI Directors, which is made by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition, has notstripped the office of controversy.

And now as well, it is the Qureshi case that continues to haunt the agency. Its investigating officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, has been arrested on the charge of fabricating a statement by a Hyderabad-based businessman “to corroborate baseless charges” made by Mr. Asthana against Mr. Verma in a complaint to the CVC. The CBI labours under a dual image: an independent agency in the perception of those disillusioned with the conduct of the jurisdiction police, and a ‘caged parrot’ or a handmaiden of the ruling party at the Centre in the eyes of the national Opposition. Recent developments, in which Central agencies are seen as targeting those in Opposition parties, add to the latter perception and do not augur well for its credibility. To a large extent, the political leadership must bear the primary responsibility for such controversies. It is difficult to ignore the fact that Mr. Asthana’s appointment as Special Director was made despite Mr. Verma’s vehement objections about his suitability, something the CVC chose to overrule. In such circumstances, it is up to the CVC and the Centre to address the present crisis. A good place to start will be to take Mr. Asthana, whose name already figures in a case, temporarily out of the agency to ensure an impartial probe.


1) egos

Meaning : a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

Synonyms : pridefulness, egotism

Antonyms : humility

Example : “he needed a boost to his ego”

2) helm

Meaning : a tiller or wheel for steering a ship or boat.

Synonyms : wheel , tug

Antonyms : refrain

Example : “she stayed at the helm, alert for tankers”

3) unsavoury

Meaning : disagreeable to taste, smell, or look at.(adj)

Synonyms : unsavory , odoriferous

Antonyms : savory

Example : “they looked at the scanty, unsavoury portions of food doled out to them”(adj)

4) malaise

Meaning : a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify.(n)

Synonyms : discomfort , uncomfortableness

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “a general air of malaise”(n)

5) rot

Meaning : (chiefly of animal or vegetable matter) decay or cause to decay by the action of bacteria and fungi; decompose.(v) , the process of decaying.(n)

Synonyms : decompose

Antonyms : ascend

Example : “the chalets were neglected and their woodwork was rotting away(v), “the leaves were turning black with rot”(n)

6) embarking

Meaning : go on board a ship or aircraft.(v)

Synonyms : begin

Antonyms : end

Example : “he embarked for India in 1817″(v)

7) bribery

Meaning : the giving or offering of a bribe.(n)

Synonyms : felony

Antonyms : stand still

Example : “his opponent had been guilty of bribery and corruption”(n)

8) pervasive

Meaning : (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.(adj)

Synonyms : distributive , permeant

Antonyms : collective

Example : “ageism is pervasive and entrenched in our society”(adj)

9) implicated

Meaning : show (someone) to be involved in a crime.(v)

Synonyms : involved

Antonyms : uninvolved

Example : “he implicated his government in the murders of three judges”(v)

10) probes

Meaning : a thorough investigation into a crime or other matter.(n)

Synonyms : enquire

Antonyms : abstain

Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”(n)

11) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).(v)

Synonyms : wanted

Antonyms : unwanted

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”(v)

12) accused

Meaning : a person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.(n)

Synonyms : defendant

Antonyms : believe

Example : “the accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges”(n)

13) stripped

Meaning : remove all coverings from.(v)

Synonyms : unclothed

Antonyms : ample

Example : “they stripped the bed”(v)

14) corroborate

Meaning : confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding).

Synonyms : prove

Antonyms : negate

Example : “the witness had corroborated the boy’s account of the attack”

15) disillusioned

Meaning : disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed.

Synonyms : disenchanted

Antonyms : naive

Example : “the minority groups were completely disillusioned with the party”

16) caged

Meaning : confine in a cage.(v)

Synonyms : enclosure

Antonyms : accelerate

Example : “the parrot screamed, furious at being caged”(v)

17) augur

Meaning : (of an event or circumstance) portend a good or bad outcome.(v)

Synonyms : omen , threaten

Antonyms : contraindicate

Example : “the end of the cold war seemed to augur well”(v)

18) vehement

Meaning : showing strong feeling; forceful, passionate, or intense.(adj)

Synonyms : intense , violent

Antonyms : mild

Example : “her voice was low but vehement”(adj)