Pitching in for the lokpal bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shut the door on the demands to bring the CBI under the proposed body. The bill, he said, had tried to achieve a balance between independence and accountability.
Singh also stood up for the bureaucracy, saying they had been at the receiving end during the entire debate and cautioned against painting everyone - civil servants and politicians alike - with the same brush.
"We must not throw the baby out with the bath water. Without a functional, efficient administrative system, no government can deliver," he told the Lok Sabha, intervening in the debate on the lokpal bill.
Singh - who heard various speakers demand putting the CBI under administrative and financial control of the lokpal - advocated keeping the CBI independent of the government as well as the lokpal.
The CBI under lokpal will create an executive structure outside Parliament and this is not constitutional, he said.
The bill has attempted to keep the CBI accountable through a selection process, which will involve the prime minister, the chief justice of India or his nominee and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Singh also cautioned against making a mistake in the enthusiasm to enact this law.
Leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj, who was critical of the bill, which did not come up to her party's expectations, demanded inclusion of the CBI under the lokpal's ambit.
Basudeb Acharia of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal did not agree.
"Draupadi had five husbands, the CBI will now have nine (if placed under lokpal)," Lalu Prasad said.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP's Dara Singh Chauhan pitched for complete autonomy to the CBI. The BSP member said the CBI had been misused by the central government to pursue political goals in the past.