The CBI is unhappy with the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s recommendation of making a preliminary enquiry (PE) by the lokpal mandatory into every complaint it receives, except trap cases, before referring the matter to the probe agency.
According to CBI officials, such mandatory enquiry will rob the agency of the element of surprise necessary for search operations and delay finalisation of cases.
Normally, after gathering information, searches lead to documentary and other evidence regarding disproportionate assets as well as other cases of criminal misconduct.
The parliamentary panel on law and justice, while examining the lokpal bill, has recommended the PE to weed out false and frivolous complaints. But the panel has kept CBI’s power to initiate a probe on its own intact, along with that of the proposed lokpal.
At present, the CBI conducts PE in only those cases where the available information/complaint is not adequate to justify registration of a regular case or FIR.
The CBI officials are also unhappy with the panel’s recommendation on the need to get mandatory approval of the lokpal before filing chargesheet or closure report in cases referred to the agency by the anti-corruption watchdog.
“This provision goes against the stated objective of making the investigation agency autonomous, not answerable or liable to be monitored by either the administrative ministry or the lokpal, and protecting the integrity of investigation,” said a CBI official, who did not want to be named.