CBI is likely to press for “complete functional autonomy” while it may advocate superintendence by the proposed Lokpal when the agency’s Chief appears before the Parliamentary Standing Committee looking into the issue on September seven.
CBI Director A.P. Singh may convey to the Parliamentary panel the agency’s view that it should be retained in its present form as “the only premier investigating agency for corruption cases” while the Lokpal can be given all such powers because of which “interference is said to be caused” in its functioning, official sources said.
“The underlying theme in both the draft Lokpal bills is to confer more autonomy on the investigation agency so as to insulate it from interference. This kind of autonomy and independence can be given to the CBI by conferring Lokpal with all such powers because of which interference is said to be caused in functioning of CBI,” a senior official said.
Mr. Singh may seek a working relationship with Lokpal on the lines of CVC and CBI like “superintendence at an arm’s length” with the proposed anti-corruption watchdog which should be vested “with all powers to meet the financial, administrative and legal requirements of CBI,” he said.
Dr. Singh has consulted senior officials of the agency and come to the conclusion that “The Director, CBI should continue to exercise the final police powers to decide a case. The Lokpal could instead have an enquiry wing under it for conducting fact-finding enquiries in matters that it may deem fit and entrust investigation to CBI, if it so warrants.”
The CBI Director is likely to advocate for the Lokpal the powers under Section 6A of DSPE Act (for prior approval before enquiry investigation against a senior officer), Section 19 of PC Act (for prosecution sanction), Section 377 and 378 CrPC (for filing of Appeals and Revisions), Section 24 CrPC (Appointment of Special Public Prosecutors), Section 4 of Criminal Law Amendment Ordnance (permission for initiation of attachment of property) etc.
The CBI Director may convey to the Committee that these powers would enable the Lokpal to ensure that the CBI enjoys complete functional autonomy, while at the same time exercising superintendence over its functioning.