The brass of the Central Bureau of Investigation is averse to its anti-corruption wing being attached to the lokpal, as proposed in the bill drafted by social activist Anna Hazare's team, HT has learnt.
The CBI bosses, however, are in favour of anti-corruption probes referred to it by the
lokpal being placed under the supervision of the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman.
Besides, the agency is looking at being given more functional autonomy as a single unit when the institution of the ombudsman is created.
All these issues are likely to be placed by CBI director Amar Pratap Singh before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on September 7. "We welcome the creation of the lokpal but a shackle-free and autonomous CBI will be a better tool in any anti-corruption framework," said a CBI official.
The CBI will convey to the committee that it is looking at the lokpal mechanism as an opportunity to strengthen its existing structures. The agency wants removal of barriers, which impede it from probing corruption charges against officers of joint secretary rank and above.
Currently, the CBI has to secure the approval of sanctioning authorities — ranging from the President to the Prime Minister and ministers — before proceeding against senior government officials. CBI sources said 14 such cases are pending with various sanctioning authorities but the agency can't proceed because approvals haven't been granted.
Besides, there are 273 cases in which the CBI has completed investigations but has been waiting to file chargesheets as approvals for prosecution have not been received.