Judicial supervision of graft cases hindering decision-making: Jaitley
New Delhi: The judicial supervision of corruption cases has hindered the “whole process of economic decision-making” as investigators try to make a case even in instances of “genuine error of judgement”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said.
Speaking at the 16th D P Kohli memorial lecture organised by CBI, Jaitley said that earlier the concept was that investigation was a police function and courts do not interfere in that.
He said courts supervise the investigation and that puts the investigator on the defensive, who tries to follow a “Golden rule” of making a case against an accused. If the accused is lucky, he or she may get a fair trial.
“This has actually hindered the whole process of economic decision-making,” Jaitley said.
Several of the major corruption cases during the previous UPA government were ordered by Supreme Court and high courts to be probed by CBI. Supreme Court even monitored the probe in into some cases, like the one in connection with the 2G case.
The Finance Minister said that officers are reluctant to take decisions as they fear that they may be hauled up later over the same.
“Once the judiciary became the supervisor of investigation, the investigator was left with little option, his discretions got squeezed. And, then, what was to be a rare exception became a pattern,” he said.
Jaitley said that supervisors and court’s judicial supervisors also have an interest in ensuring that the cases they are investigating or supervising eventually get established.
The minister said that in a liberalised environment, India’s potential was not “eight per cent growth, our potential is double digit growth” and that there was hence a need to “revisit” such practices.
While doing so, he added, “we have to see the global best practices and kind of bribery laws that are internationally followed”.
D P Kohli was the first director of the premier investigating agency.