[Bodies] CBI needs no prior sanction and Prasar Bharati needs autonomy

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  1. P1: CBI needs no Prior sanction
  2. P2: Prasar Bharati Autonomy

P1: CBI needs no Prior sanction

What’s the relevance of this topic to UPSC Syllabus?

  • (GSM2): transparency and accountability
  • (GSM4): challenges of corruption.

Present system

  • CBI derives powers under Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946
  • But as per Section 6A of this act, CBI cannot conduct preliminary inquiry against Joint Secretary or higher rank officers without central government’s approval.
  • But government doesn’t give approval on time, officers get away scot free.

Two petitions filed against this Section 6A:

  1. By Subramanian Swamy (2G fame)
  2. By an NGO: Centre for PIL

Supreme Court ruled that Section 6A ___.

  • Hampers the action against high-level corruption (by senior civil servant).
  • 6A can be used to shield corrupt officers.
  • 6A violates Article 14 of equality before law. Public servant’s high position doesn’t give him immunity from equal treatment
  • Therefore 6A is unconstitutional, we declare it null and void.
  • Besides, under Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the investigating agency has to take sanction from concerned authority before starting prosecution. So, no need to carve out additional and special protection to senior civil servants

Impact of SC Judgement?

  • In coalgate, UPA government had rejected rejected preliminary inquiry against former coal secretary. Now CBI can begin investigation against him.
  • There are many similar cases pending because central govt. had not granted sanction. But now, CBI is empowered to act against such senior IAS officials without any delay- be it 2G scam, coal, common wealth games and Adarsh scam.

Conclusion:

  • SC judgment will reduce govt. interference in CBI investigation.
  • But it cannot bear the real fruits until the CBI is granted autonomy in its appointments, finance and functioning.

P2: Prasar Bharati Autonomy

Topic important because:

  1. From Modi’s interview, DD channel edited out some portions related to Priyanka Vadra, allegedly on the order of Manish Tewari (Ex-Congress minister for information and broadcasting.)
  2. GS Mains paper 2 syllabus: Statutory bodies.

Present setup:

  • Prasar Bharati statutory autonomous body
  • It is the public service broadcaster of India
  • It has two arms: DD and AIR.

Prasar Bharati Board includes

  • 1 chairman
  • 6 part time members (eminent persons selected by Union government)
  • DG of AIR
  • DG of Doordarshan (IAS Officer. Service controlled by Personnel minstry)
  • DG of All India Radio (Indian information and broadcasting service. Service controlled by personnel ministry)
  • Representative from I&B ministry.

What Reforms needed in Prasar Bharti?

Sam Pitroda Committee (Jan 2014) recommended following:

  1. Full autonomy to Prasar Bharati for administration and finance.
  2. Include Professionals in the Prasar Bharati Board.
  3. Prasar Bharati be allowed to recruit its own officers (instead of importing IAS & other bureaucrats on deputation
  4. Setup “Prasar Bahrati connect”
    1. it’ll be a Prasar bharati arm
    2. independent of Doordarshan and All India Radio
    3. will manage social media initiatives
  5. Prasar Bharti owns large patches of land across India- for short wave radio transmitters. That technology is old. Sell such land
  6. Setup a parliamentary committee to monitor Prasar Bharati (means, all parties can have a say into Prasar Bharati affairs.)
  7. change funding pattern as following:
Government20%
Private investment. Especially for developing back infrastructure40%
Commercialize some activities40%
Total funding100%

Mock Questions

Sample MCQ: Find incorrect statements about Prasar Bharati

  1. It is a statutory body under ministry of Ministry of Communications.
  2. It overseas the working of doordarshan but not All India radio (AIR)
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

GS Mains paper 2 | 200 words | 7 minutes for each question

  1. Write a note on the structure of Prasar bharati and suggest measures to strengthen its autonomy.
  2. “Supreme court order voiding the Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act is a landmark event in the fight against higher level corruption.” Comment.

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