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Bill to amend law on CBI chief’s appointment passed in Lok Sabha

The Bill aims to include the leader of the single largest opposition party as a member of the selection committee to select the CBI Chief. Sources said, the selection committee will soon held a meeting to make the selection soon.

The NDA government went ahead to make some changes in the selection process because it does not have any recognized leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. The Congress which has emerged as a single largest opposition party by securing only 44 seats in the last general election does not qualify to get the Leader of Opposition post. The reason behind is, the post goes to a party that has at least 10 per cent of the house’s strength, which is 55 MPs.

The Congress has objected to another clause introduced in the bill which provides that the selection of the CBI chief will not require all three members of the selection panel to be present for the process. It says, only two of the three can choose the CBI chief.

The committee that selects the CBI chief comprises the prime minister, the Chief justice of India or his nominee and the Leader of the Opposition, or, once the Act is amended, the leader of the single largest opposition party.

The government has argued that this clause is required as the selection of the CBI director cannot be delayed if one of the three members of the panel is not available for some reason.

The enactment Lokpal Act, earlier this year, has automatically amended the police establishment or DPSE Act to make changes in the selection panel. Before the Lokpal Act amended the DSPE Act, a committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner used to recommend names for CBI director.
The Bill will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
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