Karthikeyan for US-like process to appoint CBI director

Former CBI director DR Karthikeyan denied that the central agency can be manipulated by the government.

Ahmedabad: Former CBI director DR Karthikeyan, famous for his successful investigation of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on Friday denied that the central agency can be manipulated by the government, but suggested a US-like appointment process for the director`s post.

"Unfortunately, the prevailing perception among majority of the political parties and the public is the party in power is using CBI to settle scores....This is actually not right. CBI is independent," Karthikeyan said on the sidelines of an event at Nirma University here.

"Still, I believe that to win back public confidence and (for) effective functioning, CBI should be given more freedom. The Prime Minister, Home Minister and leader of opposition party should shortlist the candidates for the director`s post, which they should then subject to a public debate, like in the United States," he said.

With this system, nobody would lobby for the post, and CBI`s independence and effective functioning would be ensured, he said.

The CBI was facing a staff shortage, he said, adding that Union Government should address this issue urgently, as it was the best probe agency in the country at present.

Karthikeyan, who also served as CRPF-DG, also said all the officers who hold key positions should be barred from accepting government jobs for three years post-retirement.

Police, in many states, were politicised, he said, adding that the ruling party`s leaders decided who should be Station Head Officer in his constituency, and such interference led to erosion of public confidence.

Compared to other states, he said, Gujarat had better governance and there was no large-scale corruption.