Errors of judgement different from criminal acts, argues Manmohan

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SummarySays govt will address all issues related to CBI legality

Amid a raging debate over probe into various high-profile cases, including the allocation of coal blocks and 2G spectrum, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday told the CBI, the country’s premier investigating agency, that it was important that errors of judgement were distinguished from criminal acts.

“It is important that errors of judgement are distinguished from criminal acts. As I have said on earlier occasions, decision-making in a world of uncertainty is a highly risky operation and some decisions which appear sensible ex ante may ex post turn out to be faulty. Our administrative set-up has to be so managed that the fear of the unknown must not lead to paralysis in decision making,” he said, while addressing a CBI conference on “Evolving Common Strategies to Combat Corruption and Crime”.

The Prime Minister also cautioned the CBI that policy-making is complex and that it would not be appropriate for a police agency to sit in judgement over policy formulation, without evidence of malafide.

Against the backdrop of the Gauhati High Court verdict declaring the CBI as “unconstitutional”, Singh said his government would address all issues related to the legality of the investigating agency.

“Some questions have come up recently about the legality of the CBI. Our government will look into this matter seriously and promptly. This is a matter that will undoubtedly have to be considered also by the highest court in the land. The government will do all that is necessary to establish the need for the CBI and its legitimacy, and protect its past and future work.”

Union finance minister P Chidambaram and former cricketer Rahul Dravid will address the ongoing CBI conference on Tuesday.

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