Lokpal will be just another master, feel CBI officials | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Lokpal will be just another master, feel CBI officials

“One CBI and too many masters,” that’s how a CBI official summed up the situation after the introduction of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

delhi Updated: Dec 22, 2011 23:53 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

“One CBI and too many masters,” that’s how a CBI official summed up the situation after the introduction of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

“Earlier, the CBI used to go to the department of personnel and ministries of law and home for sanctions. Now Lokpal will be another authority,” said an official who did not want to be quoted.

The CBI had demanded abolishment of prior sanction to investigate any public servant of the rank of joint secretary and above, that wish has not been granted. Interestingly, in the proposed Bill, the provision of prior sanction for investigating officers of the rank of joint secretary and above has been done away with.

Besides, in cases referred by Lokpal to the CBI the probe agency investigators will file a report with the proposed body. If Lokpal finds enough evidence, it will launch prosecution through its prosecution wing.

“But Section 173 of the CrPC says the police office shall forward its report (charge sheet or closure of investigation) to the magistrate. However, now Lokpal will take a decision in this regard. This amounts to destroying the investigation procedure,” said a source.

Further, in cases where the CBI will conduct preliminary enquiry (PE) on the instructions of Lokpal, it will have to seek comments of the public servant against whom complaint has been made. But if the case is directly taken up by the CBI, it is not at all mandatory. The CBI officials believe it will lead to two sets of mechanisms for similar kinds of investigations.

The only positive CBI officials see is the proposed panel for the selection of CBI director. It will now comprise PM, the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha and the CJI or a judge nominated by him. It will give more credibility to the selection process, officials feel.