M A I N   N E W S

GOM set up to insulate CBI from external influence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14
Days after the Supreme Court’s scathing observation that the Central Bureau of Investigation was like a ‘caged parrot’, the government today formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to draft a law to insulate the investigating agency from external influence and grant it greater autonomy.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram would head the panel that includes External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who is holding additional charge of the Law Ministry, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy, an official release said. The Ministry of Personnel is also the controlling ministry for the CBI and functions under the Prime Minister's Office.

CBI Director Ranjit Sinha will also give his inputs to the newly constituted GoM. The Group of Ministers will deliberate on ways to further strengthen the CBI’s autonomy and safeguard it from any kind of outside interferences. The government's move came after the Supreme Court had rapped the CBI for being a “caged parrot” of its political masters.

"...(the) CBI has become a caged parrot. We can't have CBI a caged parrot speaking in master's voice. It is a sordid saga where there are many masters and one parrot," the SC had said on May 6. The observations came following reports that the then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had perused and made changes to the status report the agency was to file before the Supreme Court in the coal blocks allocation case.

The panel report is expected to be ready before July 10, the day the issue would come up before the court again.

The furore over the perusal of the document and the CBI Director's affidavit admitting that it shared its content with the then Law Minister eventually cost Kumar his place in the Union Council of Ministers. The Opposition, led by the BJP, had lashed out at the government over the issue. The apex court had also asked the government to make an effort to come out with a law to insulate the CBI from external influence and intrusion. The CBI, which is probing irregularities in allocation of coal blocks on the direction of the CVC, has so far registered 11 FIRs in the matter.

(With PTI inputs)

PC to head ministerial panel

  • The ministerial panel will be headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Union Ministers Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal and Sushilkumar Shinde will also be a part of it
  • The GoM will deliberate on ways to further strengthen the CBI's autonomy and safeguard it from any outside interferences
  • The panel will finalise its findings and draft a law which will be submitted to the Supreme Court before July 10, the next date |of hearing in the case





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