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GoM decides to amend Delhi Police Act to insulate CBI

These steps would be part of the effort to give the agency functional autonomy,a member said

Acting on its commitment to end executive interference in CBI investigations,the government has decided to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act,1946,the law that gives the investigating agency its powers.

A meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram Thursday decided that the Supreme Court’s May 8 directive to insulate the CBI from extraneous influence should be implemented by amending the DSPE Act.

However,the director of prosecution,who reports to the law minister,will continue to have the power to scrutinise CBI chargesheets once the investigation is over.

The GoM also decided that the procedure requiring the CBI to seek the government’s sanction to prosecute officers above the rank of joint secretary should not be amended,although it stressed that a three-month deadline be imposed without leniency for seeking such sanction.

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These steps would be part of the effort to give the agency functional autonomy,a member said. The amendment bill is likely to be moved in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The GoM met for over an hour and finalised the draft affidavit it has to place before the Supreme court before July 3. It has also decided to summon CBI director Ranjit Sinha and seek his views on the functioning of the agency at the next meeting on June 24.

“We will be amending the act where it will be asserted that investigation will be done by the CBI without any executive interference and where only the CVC will be the monitoring agency,” a member said.

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The government move came after the Supreme court called the CBI a “caged parrot” that “speaks in its master’s voice” after the agency admitted in an affidavit that then law minister Ashwani Kumar and senior officials of the PMO and coal ministry had made changes in the report on allotment of coal blocks.

First published on: 15-06-2013 at 03:37:02 am
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