PM's remarks at the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (April 30, 2011)

          I am very happy to participate in this function for inauguration of the new headquarters building of the Central Bureau of Investigation. I believe this is truly a state-of-the-art, green building. It is an impressive structure and I congratulate all those who have contributed to its construction. I am sure this new building will provide all of you a congenial and comfortable habitat to work in.

          Over the years, the CBI has evolved into the premier investigating agency of our country. There is a loud clamour for the investigation to be handed over to the CBI, whenever there is a gruesome crime, a complex case, a politically sensitive matter or large-scale fraud. Such requests come from all parts of our country and from governments of different persuasions. It is quite common for High Courts, and even the Supreme Court, to entrust cases considered complex or sensitive to the CBI for investigation. Over the years the CBI has acquitted itself well as an independent, professional and competent investigating agency. It has set benchmarks for other investigating outfits in our country to emulate. But there is room for improvement. I would urge the officers of the CBI to strive tirelessly to set even higher standards of work.

          A few days back, in the inaugural function of the Civil Services Week, I had spoken about the problem of corruption and the growing impatience of our people to see quick action for tackling it. The CBI is today investigating many high profile cases of corruption that have attracted a great deal of public attention. The handling of these cases constitutes a litmus test for you. What is expected of you is thorough investigation, fair action and quick results. The CBI should act without fear or favour and bring to book all those who are guilty, irrespective of their position or status. I would advise the CBI you to put your heads down and work hard, away from the media glare, to ensure early resolution of these cases.

          It is also important for the Bureau to ensure that its judgment always remains rooted in hard evidence and is not influenced by extraneous factors. Ours is an open and free society. There will be many views and opinions on all issues. The CBI has to be sensitive to these but it has always to do what is right and correct. For an investigating agency, there can be only one guiding beacon, only one gold standard and that is the law of the land. Whoever transgresses it, how ever mighty, has to be brought to book. At the same time, the CBI has to avoid harassment to those who act in good faith in the discharge of their duties. There should be no vendetta, no witch-hunt and no harassment of the innocent. There should be no apprehension of punitive action for bonafide mistakes as we cannot afford an environment that breeds fear, inaction and indecision.

          As we all know, investigation is only one part of the process to bring the guilty to book. Trials have also to be conducted, and conducted speedily. We have decided to set up 71 additional special courts for dealing with cases entrusted to the CBI. I am told that 64 of these have now been sanctioned but only 16 are operational. I would urge my colleague Shri Narayanasamy to pursue the matter with the States. We have already agreed to reimburse the costs incurred in setting up of these courts and it is necessary that the states get persuaded to provide the necessary infrastructure and personnel at the earliest.

          Officers, men and women working in the CBI have a difficult task to perform. It is essential that they are looked after well and they have the necessary technical and other resources required for their work. I assure you that our government is committed to providing the CBI the manpower, the finances and the technology that the agency requires. We also stand committed to giving the Bureau the necessary independence and operational flexibility.

          Let me end by wishing all the men and women working in the CBI the best in the coming years. May God bless your path.

Jai Hind.