The Centre’s decision to keep CBI out of the Right to Information Act drives home message that the intention of the government, which claims for its commitment to transparency in governance and fight against corruption, is not clear. The decision was taken by a committee of the Centre’s secretaries under the stewardship of the Cabinet Secretary. It is surprising, when the committee came up with its decision, the government immediately issued the notification. Such hurried action is rarely found in the functioning of the government.  The ruling dispensation has bowed down before the recommendation of the committee vividly explains that the government is covertly supporting opaque in the functioning. The Centre is well aware that the bureaucrats have stonewalled RTI Act and are reluctant to let it take the shape of a law, however the government has not delayed to endorse their recommendations. The CBI has been kept aside from the RTI on the ground that divulging information will affect the investigation process. It might have repercussion in a particular case, but it does not mean that the CBI should be cocooned in the secrecy. It is crystal clear that CBI has been pushed out of RTI ambit so that public cannot access to the information of its functioning and the people in power may use it at their discretion. Needless to say, the CBI sometimes becomes active against some leaders while sometimes it stoops so low due to its laxity.

The decision to keep the CBI out of RTI purview clearly shows that the Centre is not concerned with credibility of this institution nor with its own image. The CBI investigates the issues related with murder and violence as well as scams and scandals involving many leaders and bureaucrats. As the CBI hardly deals with the issue related with national security, it has been put under RTI. Will the government explain about an information which was sought from the CBI and finally it has hampered the functioning of the intelligence agency? What is the problem of the CBI in giving details of the allegations made against corrupt leaders and bureaucrats? As the government is not ready to keep anti-corruption wing of the CBI under RTI Act, it has deflected the Centre’s claim of fighting against corruption. It clearly manifests that the government desires the premier investigating agency to be put under its control and the CBI is no longer an autonomous body. It is disappointing that CBI officials too are not keen on keeping the institution autonomous and move on protecting its prestige.