hi INDiA Copyright 2020
Lokpal to get part control of CBI?
In a move that comes close to meeting a key demand of anti-graft campaigner Anna Hazare, the parliamentary panel examining the Lokpal Bill is set to recommend that the prosecution wing of the CBI be brought under the Lokpal’s control and away from the Centre.
The panel is also preparing to recommend that the CBI’s anti-corruption wing be given more autonomy and be placed under the Lokpal’s supervision.
These recommendations by the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice would also neutralise criticism that the CBI is often influenced by the ruling party of the day.
The committee backed these proposals made by its chairman, Abhishek Singhvi, who outlined a structure that harmonises the roles of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.
“Significant progress has been made on vital issues. The best equilibrium between the holy trinity of the CVC, CBI and Lokpal, and a compact and effective selection committee have been achieved,” Singhvi said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee could not, however, arrive at a consensus on whether the prime minister should be brought within the Lokpal’s ambit. The issue will be taken up again at the next meeting.
The panel is also likely to recommend that the CVC’s powers be limited to taking disciplinary action against the lower echelons of officialdom – Group C and D employees – and not the top two categories, which are proposed to be brought under the Lokpal’s area of enquiry and action.
The panel also favoured scrapping of the controversial directive, requiring investigative agencies to seek the government’s permission before
prosecuting public servants.
On the composition of the selection panel for appointment of the chairperson of the Lokpal and its members, the panel will ask for changes in the government’s bill.
“The selection committee should comprise the PM, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha,” said a member.