GoM meets on CBI; DoPT opposes scrapping of key provision
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) today opposed scrapping of the provision which requires CBI to seek Government's permission for probing bureaucrats in corruption cases.
New Delhi: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) today opposed scrapping of the provision which requires CBI to seek Government's permission for probing bureaucrats in corruption cases.
The DoPT raised the issue during a power-point presentation at the maiden meeting of the Group of Minister
headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram which discussed the issue of giving greater autonomy and more financial powers to the agency, official sources said.
The GoM was set up in the wake of strong observations by the Supreme Court on the functioning of CBI which was described as a "caged parrot". The apex court had also suggested to the Government to
consider ways to make CBI independent and free from any interference of the political executive.
The DoPT, which is the nodal body governing CBI, came out strongly against any proposal to scrap Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act which requires the agency to seek permission of the central government before intitiating a probe against an official of the rank of Joint Secretary and above in a corruption cas, the sources said.
The proposal giving more financial powers to the Director of CBI did not find much support in the meeting which was attended by Chidambaram, Law Minister Kapil Sibal, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy, the sources said. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde could not attend the meeting as he is away in the US.
The issue of promotion to CBI cadre officers to senior levels was shot down by some GoM members who insisted that IPS officers should continue to hold senior positions in the agency as they have vast kowledge and experience about the functioing of both the Centre and the states, the sources said.
Emerging from an hour-long meeting, Chidambaram told reporters, "We were briefed by Department of Personnel on the Supreme Court order. And we were taken through present laws the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, the CVC Act. We were taken through Vineet Narain judgement. We identified the issues that need to be addressed."
He said Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati has been invited to the next meeting as he had appeared in the matter and there is a mention about him in the Supreme Court order. The sources said CBI Director Ranjit Sinha would make a presentation before the GoM at a later stage. The next meeting of the GoM will held after the return of the Home Minister, the sources said.
The GoM was constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prepare a draft law to insulate CBI from external influence and a draft affidavit to be presented in the Supreme Court which had made a scathing observations against the agency while hearing the coal blocks allocation scam case.
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