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GoM recommendations on CBI nothing but farce: Jaitley

While the union cabinet approved the recommendations by a Group of Ministers (GoM) for making the CBI more independent, BJP leader Arun Jaitley dismissed it as a ‘farce’.

In an article released by the BJP, titled ‘The GOM’s Recommendations on the CBI Functioning - A Farce’, Jaitley wrote: ‘The government made it appear as though some earth-shaking new decision had to be taken on the basis of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers.’

‘The decision taken at the meeting of the cabinet does not in any way immunize the CBI from political interference,’ he said. A GoM, headed by finance minister P. Chidambaram, has recommended constitution of a panel of retired judges to monitor investigations by the agency to ensure that probes remain free from any external influence. The recommendations were approved by the
cabinet on Thursday.

Jaitley, however, said the recommendations regarding the CBI by a select committee of the Rajya Sabha on the Lokpal bill were strong, but the government ignored them. The recommendations accepted by the select committee included that the investigative wing and prosecution wing of the CBI should act independently.

The director of the CBI and director of prosecution should be appointed by a collegium comprising the prime minister, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and the chairman of Lokpal.

The CBI’s director and director of prosecution must have a fixed term and the power of superintendence, and direction of the CBI in relation to Lokpal-referred cases must vest with the Lokpal. The recommendations also said if an officer investigating a case is sought to be transferred for any reason whatsoever, the prior approval of the Lokpal should be required and the panel of advocates who appear for and advise the CBI should be independent of the government.
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