Press Esc to close
Saturday 22 July 2017
News updated at 2:11 PM IST

Moving forward

July 1, 2013: 22:13 IST
A set of suggestions made by a Group of Ministers(GoM) headed by finance minister P Chidambaram on giving more independence to the CBI may be a step forward. The proposals are to be submitted in an affidavit to the Supreme Court this week. It was after some trenchant comments by the court and a directive to take immediate steps to free the investigative agency of official control that the government moved to set up a GoM. The affidavit, which has been cleared by the cabinet, will also go to a standing committee of Parliament. All the details of the proposals are not known yet. But some, which have been made public, may address some concerns about the working of the CBI. But they have also raised some questions.

The CBI needs to have both financial and functional autonomy. At present its expenses have to be sanctioned by the government at the secretary level. The proposed package gives the CBI director the power to directly draw the funds required by the agency. This is as it should be. It is proposed that the CBI director would be selected by a three-member collegium comprising the prime minister, the leader of the opposition and the chief justice of India. This is fine, but the judiciary might later face an awkward situation if an appointment approved by the CJI is challenged in a court. An oversight panel of three retired judges has been proposed to supervise and oversee investigations. But its legal status is fuzzy though the government claims it has looked into the matter. As the law stands now, only the CVC or the courts have the power to monitor the agency’s work. The proposals are also silent on the demand for revocation of the ‘single point directive,’ which mandates government’s permission for investigation of any official above the level of a joint secretary. This requirement has long been considered as hurting operational autonomy.

The proposals show that the government has moved forward from a state of denial, refusal and recalcitrance over the demand for independence of the CBI, obviously under duress. But just by themselves the proposals may not be enough to ensure proper functional autonomy for the agency. They also need clarification. While there is the need to free the investigative body of political or official control and dictation, it is also necessary to maintain its accountability to legitimate democratic structures. The task is not easy.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Kawad yatri waiting for their turn in a queue outside a Shiv temple in Meerut...

Kawad yatri waiting for their turn in a queue outside a Shiv temple in Meerut...

A farmer ploughs his paddy field during monsoon session at a village near Balurghat in South...

A farmer ploughs his paddy field during monsoon session at a village near Balurghat in South...

Chennaiyin FC Co-owner and actor Abhishek Bachchan reacts during a press conference...

Chennaiyin FC Co-owner and actor Abhishek Bachchan reacts during a press conference...

Exile Tibetans hold posters of the late Nobel laureate Xiaobo Liu during a prayer service...

Exile Tibetans hold posters of the late Nobel laureate Xiaobo Liu during a prayer service...

Temples submerged in flooded waters of Narmada river at Gwarighat in Jabalpur...

Temples submerged in flooded waters of Narmada river at Gwarighat in Jabalpur...

A view of a submerged bridge over the Panchganga river after heavy downpour at Ichalkaranj...

A view of a submerged bridge over the Panchganga river after heavy downpour at Ichalkaranj...

Former Gujarat chief minister and Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela address a public...

Former Gujarat chief minister and Congress veteran Shankersinh Vaghela address a public...

Village girls raise slogan as they attend the funeral procession of the teenager Tanveer...

Village girls raise slogan as they attend the funeral procession of the teenager Tanveer...

Army personnel fixing loud-speakers at a pole as preparations are underway...

Army personnel fixing loud-speakers at a pole as preparations are underway...

A view of the Vijay Chowk and Raisina Hill during sunset in New Delhi on Friday...

A view of the Vijay Chowk and Raisina Hill during sunset in New Delhi on Friday...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.