The author was deputed to CBI on 26 April 1984 at the prospect of which he was naturally very thrilled as he wanted to fight against the canker of corruption within the judicial system. He desired the mindset of the officials to change so as to ?treat? corruption like any other crime and the corrupt like any other ordinary criminal, instead of creating a smokescreen of moral and ethical or other hyperboles in dealing with this category of criminals. He says the boldest and most serious attack on corruption ever mounted was with the registration of the Jain hawala case of March 1995 by the CBI against S.K. Jain, his brothers and 115 others named in their diaries under the direction of the apex court, which monitored the investigations directly. It roused great public expectations but soon everything fell back to square one when the charges against the accused started falling in 1997 on the ground that there was no evidence and evidence of the diary was not admissible. The author says, ?I discovered that in the CBI, naked uncovering of facts was neither unacceptable, nor would it be tolerated beyond certain limits!? The unwritten rule was that certain persons were not to be touched and if the line of investigation reached them, ?the investigations should be diluted, diverted or dropped and scuttled in due course.?
The author, in a scathing attack on the CBI and the Government of India, regrets that the CBI fell shy of fighting corruption at high places. ?Though it had the requisite skills, but it lacked the mental makeup, direct courage, guts or the will.
The book tries to show that while corruption has become all-pervasive and controls our destiny in various fields, the agencies entrusted with the task of fighting it fail to perform their duty in a truthful and transparent manner, especially when it comes to taking action against the people at the top. While conducting investigations in the Jain hawala case, the author and his team found incriminating evidence and recorded the name of the then ruling Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao in the statement of S.K. Jain. When the author pressed for investigating Rao'srole in the scam, he was prevented from doing it and punished for ?straying into forbidden territories?.
This is a dated book and though it highlights the extent of corruption prevalent in the country, the cases cited are now things of the past and do not generate much interest.
(Manas Publications, 4858 Prahlad Street, 24 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002.)