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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

GoM set up to insulate CBI from external influence

PTI  New Delhi, May 14, 2013
First Published: 15:29 IST(14/5/2013) | Last Updated: 15:34 IST(14/5/2013)

In the wake of the Supreme Court's scathing observations on CBI, the government on Tuesday formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to draft a law to insulate the investigating agency from external influence.

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The GoM, headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, has external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal, information and broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy as members, official sources said.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha will also give his input to the newly-constitued GoM.

The Group of Ministers will deliberate on ways to further strengthen CBI's autonomy and safeguard it from any kind of outside interferences, they said.

The government's move came after the Supreme Court had rapped the CBI for being a "caged parrot" of its political masters while hearing a case related to alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation.

"...CBI has become a caged parrot. We can't have CBI a caged parrot speaking in master's voice. It is a sordid saga where there are many masters and one parrot," it has said during a hearing on May 6.

The Court's direction had come following an affidavit from the CBI Director, who admitted to have shared a draft coal block allocation probe report with former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and two joint secretaries--Shatrughna Singh and A K Bhalla--in the Prime Minister's Office and Coal Ministry respectively.

The apex court had also asked the government to make an effort to come out with a law to insulate CBI from external influence and intrusion.

The Group will finalise its findings and draft a law which will be submitted to the Supreme Court before July 10, next date of hearing of the case.

CBI, which is probing irregularities in allocation of coal mine blocks on the direction of CVC, has so far registered 11 FIRs in the matter.


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