After Lokpal, CBI director raises questions on agency’s powers

New Delhi | Published:January 23, 2014 12:54 am

CBI director Ranjit Sinha has written to the DoPT secretary pointing out anomalies and legal inconsistencies in the Lokpal Act and amended Central Vigilance Commission Act. Sinha questioned whether the entire probe agency would be divested of all powers if any of its officers were found guilty of corruption or evidence tampering. He sought clarifications from the Union government on the matter. 

Sinha said the points raised by him need to be examined to avoid any litigation, otherwise the entire anti-corruption effort would be weakened. The letter highlighted section 38 of the Act, which states: “… divest such agency engaged or associated with the Lokpal of all powers” if an officer or employee of the office of the Lokpal or agency engaged or associated is likely to destroy or tamper with evidence or influence witnesses in corruption cases.

The CBI director said, “Clarification is required as to whether for a wrongdoing of an officer, the entire agency can be divested of all powers and responsibilities.”

Sinha also referred to Section 46 (i) of the Lokpal, which deals with punishment of those who make vexatious complaints, saying this process should be initiated only after the individual against whom the complaint has been made approaches the competent court. “It is suggested that in case such false, frivolous or vexatious complaint is made against the CBI, then director CBI should also be authorised to make such complaints in the court,” Sinha said.

The CBI director also referred to Section 25 whereby Lokpal shall have powers of superintendence over CBI and could give directions to it in respect of Preliminary Enquiry and investigations provided by it. “It is not clear in what respect or areas such directions could be given by the Lokpal to the investigating agency in the backdrop of provisions to the section,” Sinha said in the letter.

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