Bill to include leader of the largest Oppn party in selection panel

Bill to include leader of the largest Oppn party in selection panel

With no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, government will introduce a bill in the lower House tomorrow to include leader of the single largest opposition party to be a member of the selection panel that chooses the CBI chief.

The amendment to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act has been listed in the government's agenda in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Winter session.

If the lower house adjourns for the day after paying obituary reference to two sitting members, the bill would be taken up on Tuesday.

The amendment bill comes days before present CBI chief Ranjit Sinha demits office on December 2.

Another amendment to be part of the proposed bill is the insertion of a clause to ensure that there is no requirement of "quorum" in the selection panel for choosing the CBI chief.

The new clause will make it clear that the proceedings of the selection committee are not held as "invalid" due to a lack of quorum, sources said here today.

At present, the law is silent on the quorum but the government thought it appropriate to amend the Act to ensure that the decisions of the selection panel is not challenged in a court of law as being invalid due to lack of quorum.

Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP's 280 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the LoP's post for which it requires a minimum strength of 55.

Once the amendments are cleared by Parliament, Leader of Congress party, the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, would become part of the selection panel to chose the CBI chief.

Section 4A of the DSPE Act was amended by the Lokpal Act to change the composition of the selection committee to appoint the CBI chief.

The new selection panel is headed by the Prime Minister with the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha as its members.

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