This will enable the agency to probe corruption cases without States' consent
A Parliamentary committee has recommended giving the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) “effective” statutory backing through enactment of a law similar to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act so that the agency can probe corruption cases throughout the country without taking the consent of the States.
The committee took note of the NIA Act, 2008 that provided for an investigation agency at the national level to probe and prosecute certain class of offences.
“The committee is of the considered view that a legislation may be proposed on similar lines, to give an effective statutory backing to the CBI, which is a dire need of the hour, while taking care that the basic features of the Constitution are not compromised,” it said in its report tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The panel had sought the opinion of the Attorney-General whether the CBI could launch prosecution on offences related to matters in the Union List of the Constitution.
“It is not open to provide that the jurisdiction of the bureau [CBI] shall extend to the whole of India and that prior consent of the States will not be necessary,” the AG had said, adding that “in his opinion, this violates the basic federal structure of the Constitution.”
The panel suggested that the government consider a legislation on the lines of the NIA Act to authorise the CBI to probe and prosecute graft-related offences only.
The committee, in its report on demands for grants (2012- 13) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, also asked the government to ensure that the CBI's modernisation plan should not be hampered owing to budgetary constraints.