CBI Tales from The Big Eye: An Insider’s Account of the Agency’s Successes and Failures

Can the CBI fly like a fearless eagle or has it resigned itself to its fate as a caged parrot? Shantonu Sen, former co-director of CBI, is an optimistic sleuth. He spent 33 long years in the office where he witnessed the decline in his stature through the power of political influence. At the same time, he’s seen some pretty decent detective-led investigations fail because the office was caught between the courts and the administration.

As you might expect, his selection of a dozen tales in his latest book Tales from the CBI from The Big Eye, is not only about the accomplishments of a professional detective, but provides information on what makes the system work or stop working.

Sen’s latest book is an explosive mix of corruption, cheating and forgery impacting big investigations, dragging the agency through a cycle of success and failure, before the eagle flight was limited between North Block and the courts.

Sen had eagle eyes in surveys. As an insider of the anti-corruption agency, his storytelling is captivating and insightful for the layman to understand how the guns of the law work and why they sometimes don’t work.

A Short Story of a CBI Circumvention Act is one of those stories with all the elements of a great drama.

This was when terrorism in the Punjab was drawing to a close in 1987. Three years after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a bloodbath had broken out, the repercussions of which were felt for many years. unhappy. Sen says a British citizen of Indian origin, a former member of the House of Commons and confidant of then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in prison in Srinagar.

Sen and his team had discovered that his activities encouraged terrorist crimes in the border state. According to Sen, there was enough evidence to prosecute him under the anti-terrorism laws.

One day, the director of the CBI, Mohan G. Katre, asked him to meet with the Minister of Homeland Security. When Sen met with him, the question under discussion with the Home Secretary in his room was how to drop the charges against the donation. Between the two prime ministers, the decision to release the British subject had been taken.

Sen goes on to explain how the director of CBI maneuvered not to use his office to drop the charges. The problem is that the CBI was unable to close the case on the grounds that there was no evidence to prosecute him.

“Obviously, the minister was not looking for an answer. He wanted a fail-safe operation, ”writes Sen.

Sen was put to work. After pacing the north block, Sen had an idea. The CBI could act on the advice of the Home Secretary. JK’s chief secretary had to be kept informed and between the two babus, the decision had to be conveyed to the CBI. The book explains how the British national was eventually put on a direct flight from Delhi to Heathrow.

Sen’s book is a storehouse of many such accounts of why the CBI has not been able to break its chains. His first books—CBI insider speaks and CBI and corruption– cited many other notable cases where investigative skills, teamwork and fearlessness were demonstrated by CBI officers. Sen is certainly one of them.

Tales from the CBI from The Big Eye

Author: Shantonu Sen

Publisher: Notion Press Media Pvt Ltd

Price: Rs 145

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