The Supreme Court on Friday said that it would examine the plea whether intelligence agencies like RAW and IB could be brought within the supervisory mechanisms of Parliament and other constitutional bodies.
Initially, the Bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Anil R Dave and Jutice Vikramajit Sen expressed reluctance to pass any directions on the matter, as it involved a policy decision of the executive.
Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, said that ” `10,000 crore per annum was being spent on these intelligence gathering agencies.” Pointing out that their expenditure was not being audited, he said the issue of oversight of these agencies has been pending for a long time. “The money for these agencies come from the Consolidated Fund of India. The expenditure needs to be audited. In the recent past, a number of former RAW and IB chiefs have published books indicating how the money is being misused. While foreign countries at least resort to censure, India does nothing,” Bhushan noted.
When the Chief Justice was not inclined to grant the relief, senior counsel Anil Divan asked the apex court if can we have a police force without a Police Act and pleaded for issuance of guidelines on the matter. The matter has been posted for hearing on February 11.