CBI out of Lokpal scope

CBI out of Lokpal scope

The government, however,  proposed to bring changes in the procedure of the CBI director’s appointment by setting up a three-member committee to look in to the matter.

The proposed committee will be headed by the prime minister. The leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the chief justice of India (CJI) or a Supreme Court Justice, nominated by the CJI, will be its members.

The premier investigations agency’s director is currently  appointed by the Central government. The Central Vigilance Commissioner(CVC) heads the selection and recommendation process.

To bring changes in the current appointment procedure, government has proposed in the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011, to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, from where the CBI derives its power to investigate.

The Bill, tabled in Lok Sabha on Thursday, proposes constitution of an inquiry wing of Lokpal and Lokayuktas, to be headed by the director of inquiry.

“Provided that till such time the inquiry wing is constituted by the Lokpal, the Central government shall make available such number of officers and other staff from its ministries or departments, as may be required by the Lokpal, for conducting preliminary inquiries under this Act,” the Bill stipulates.

It also provides for setting up of an independent prosecution wing in the Lokpal institution for filing cases in special courts to be constituted under the proposed law.

“No prior sanction will be required for launching prosecution in cases enquired by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas or initiated on the direction and with the approval of Lokpal and Lokayuktas,” the Bill stipulates.

On receipt of complaint, the Lokpal will have powers to first decide whether to proceed in the matter or close it before ordering a preliminary inquiry to ascertain whether there existed a prima facie case for proceedings in the matter.

However, if Lokpal decides to proceed further with the preliminary inquiry then it may refer the complaints against public servants to the CVC which, in cases against Group A and Group B government employees, will submit its inquiry report to Lokpal.

“In case of public servants belonging to Group C and Group D, the commission shall proceed in accordance the provisions of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003,” the Bill proposes.

On the basis of the preliminary inquiry report, a bench consisting of not less than three members of the Lokpal may proceed for further investigation by its inquiry wing or any other agency of the government after giving due opportunity to be heard to the accused.

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