New Delhi, June 13 : The Central Bureau of Investigation chief Vijay Shanker believes that Police Reforms are critical for a sustained all round progress of the country.
In an interview to Anil Tyagi of the "G Files", Vijay Shanker said that it was the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of the common man and accord a sense of security. "This has not been achieved, challenges are enormous. Only well thought out police reforms can bring about such change."
Vijay Shanker says this is necessary as the credibility of the police as of now is low. "In some states, police personnel are commonly perceived as the 'personal army' of the State government of the day," he said while adding: "radical policy reform is inescapable. Unfortunately, every government has ensured that no reform in police takes place."
Responding to a question about setting up a federal agency, Vijay Shanker, pointed out that as of now the law and order, investigation and policing were the exclusive domain of State governments. "Unless the Constitution is amended, it is not possible to create a federal agency. It also needs a political consensus."
"The media has been talking about it without proper research," he added.
Vijay Shanker feels that a federal agency perhaps will be able to handle selected cases which have inter-state, international ramification and the kind of sensitivity associated with integrity and terrorism and economic well-being of the nation.
He is not apologetic of the ability of the CBI. He pointed out that the organization has handled the 'most complex cases in internal security, scams, bank frauds, new generation crimes like cyber crime, intellectual property rights, money laundering. '.
In the Bombay blasts, Vijay Shanker pointed out, the CBI succeeded in conviction of 100 accused out of 123 tried so far. "Nowhere in the world has this happened."
Vijay Shanker, an IPS officer of the 1969 batch belonging to the UP cadre, has served his home cadre in various capacities and had risen to the level of Additional Director General of Police , heading the U.P police headquarters and Provincial Armed Constabulary. He has also served in para-military forces serving in Jammu and Kashmir in the height of insurgency.
Speaking on the CBI's independence, he pointed out that there has been a qualitative change due to a Government's decision to have a fixed tenure of two years for the Director. "The fixed tenure of the Director has changed the scenario. The government cannot transfer the CBI Director before a minimum of two years."
Vijay Shanker pointed out that during his two-and-a-half years' tenure, the government had never given any suggestion till now. "I myself give every instruction in writing. In the CBI, there is a single file system. Every officer is encouraged to express his views freely and frankly and he is accountable for the same."
Talking to the G files, he pointed out that CBI was investigating a large number of cases.
As on March, 2008, 1,156 cases were under investigation, out of which 40 are Preliminary Enquiries. In 2007, the rate of conviction was 67 per cent. In 2006, it was 73 per cent. On an average, the conviction rate ranges between 65 and 73 per cent, Vijay Shanker said.