Welcomes the proposals in the Jan Lok Pal Bill as well as in the Centre's Lokpal Bill

As anti-corruption crusade in the country gathers momentum with each passing day and the demand for setting up an effective Lokpal gets louder, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to oppose any move to divide the agency when it makes its presentation before the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

While welcoming the proposals in the Lokpal Bill as well as in the civil society's Jan Lokpal Bill for tackling corruption, highly-placed sources in the agency voiced their strong reservation about bifurcating or dividing the CBI, the main anti-corruption agency of the Central government.

For status quo

“We will be happy to work with the institution of Lokpal as and when it comes into being but our plea to the Standing Committee will be to let the CBI remain intact in its present form. We would like to get more autonomy so that the agency is strengthened and does not have to depend on the government for sanctions for prosecution, legal opinions, funds and foreign visits of our officials,” the sources said on Tuesday.

Emphasising that the CBI had gained tremendous expertise in anti-corruption work, investigation of economic offences, special crimes and even terrorist incidents, the sources said that the bureau had emerged as a “multi-dimensional agency” over the years.

The sources said that agency would be happy to work with the Lokpal and conduct investigations entrusted by it. “We feel that the institution of Lokpal cannot be an effective body without associating the CBI with it. The CBI only needs functional autonomy and more resources,” the sources added.

The sources said that Central Vigilance Commission was also exercising superintendence over the CBI and referring cases to it. “Similarly, Lokpal can also entrust the responsibility to us without tinkering with the agency's structure,” the sources said.

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