CBI likely to seek changes of certain provisions in Lokpal

Tags: News
With the Narendra Modi-led NDA government assuming office on Monday, experts believe that India’s premier investigative agency CBI may seek some changes regarding ‘certain provisions’ in the anti-corruption watch-dog ‘Lokpal’, formed by the previous UPA government.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha has already expressed his reservations over certain provisions of the Lokpal and noted that a few of them are not in tune with the central laws. Agency officials are of the view that the proposal of the previous government to have the CBI under the Lokpal’s ambit would only create another ‘master’ for the agency.

Talking to this newspaper, a senior agency official said, “The new government must think of providing operational autonomy to the CBI. What will be the role of the CBI after the creation of the Lokpal? This must be defined properly by the new government”.

Describing the CBI as a ‘caged parrot’ that ‘speaks in its master’s voice’, the Supreme Court (SC) had observed that the CBI has too many masters and the government must take steps to insulate it from external influences, said the official.

“After creation of the Lokpal in its present form, CBI may have one more master, besides the CVC. What does it mean to the CBI and its autonomy,” queried another senior official of the agency.

While setting up the institution of Lokpal, the new government must ensure that the CBI’s authority and it’s operational effectiveness is not diluted in any manner.

As far as the agency's investigations into some high-profile cases involving bigwigs of the new dispensation are concerned, sources said that the new government would have very little 'elbow room' to influence and maneuver ongoing investigations.

“Investigations, especially of the CBI under the criminal procedure code (CrPC), are 'quasi-judicial' functions and the government can not do much on that front. Besides, most cases being probed by the CBI are being monitored by the court”, the official said.

Almost all sensitive cases, being probed by the agency, including the coalgate scam, Ishrat Jahan alleged encounter case, Mayawati’s DA case, the Aircel-Maxis deal, AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal, MGNREGA and NRHM scams of Uttar Pradesh are being monitored by the courts, sources added.

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