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Report No. 161

1.2.3. Report of the Independent Review Committee (IRC) relied upon.-

The Supreme Court also referred to and strongly relied upon the report of yet another committee called the Independent Review Committee (IRC) constituted by the government under its order dated September 8, 1997 comprising Shri B.G. Deshmukh, former Cabinet Secretary, Shri N.N. Vohra Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Shri S.V. Giri, Central Vigilance Commissioner. The court observed:-

"27. The IRC is a body constituted by the Central Government itself as a result of its perception that the Constitution and functioning of the CBI, CVC and Directorate of Enforcement require a close scrutiny in the background of the recent unsatisfactory functioning of these agencies with a view to improve their functioning. The view taken by the IRC is a reaffirmation of this belief shared by everyone. The preface to the report indicates the reason for the constitution of the IRC and says that:" In the past several years, there has been progressive increase in allegations of corruption involving public servants. Understandably, cases of this nature have attracted heightened media and public attention.

A general impression appears to have gained ground that the concerned Central Investigating agencies are subject to extraneous pressures and have been indulging in dilatory tactics in not brining the guilty to book. The decisions of higher courts to directly monitor investigations in certain cases have added to the aforesaid belief." There can thus be no doubt that there is need for the exercise we were called upon to perform and which has occasioned consideration of this crucial issued by this court in exercise of its powers conferred by the Constitution of India. The conclusions reached by the IRC and the recommendations it has made for improving the functioning and thereby the image of these agencies is a further reaffirmation of this general belief.

There can also be no doubt that the conclusions reached by the IRC and its recommendations are the minimum which require immediate acceptance and implementation in a bid to arrest any further decay of the polity. It follows that the exercise to be performed now by this Court is really to consider whether any modifications/additions are required to be made to the recommendations of the IRC for achieving the object for which the Central Government itself constituted the IRC. We are informed by the learned Attorney General that further action on the report of the IRC could not be taken so far because of certain practical difficulties faced by the Central Government but there is no negative reaction to the report given by the Central Government."

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