Draft law on CBI autonomy an eyewash: BJP

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 The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday dubbed as the setting up of a Group of Ministers to draft a new bill to insulate the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from political interference as an eyewash.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said the issue of autonomy of CBI has been discussed at length in the debate over the Lokpal Bill as well as during the meeting of the select committee of the Upper House.

He said the Select Committee has already given its recommendation on the matter and the Union Cabinet has approved most of these.

Mr. Jaitley said there were differences between the government and the Opposition on certain points, but there was a broad agreement on most of the issues regarding autonomy of CBI.

“The new Group of Ministers on autonomy for CBI is an eyewash. There is no need to start afresh,” Mr. Jaitley said, adding the Lokpal Bill passed by Lok Sabha also has provisions on autonomy to CBI. An amendment in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act is sufficient, he said.

The government on Tuesday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, to prepare a draft law to insulate CBI from external influence and a draft affidavit within three weeks in the Supreme Court which had made scathing observations on the agency.

The Group of Ministers will deliberate on ways to further strengthen CBI’s autonomy and safeguard it from any kind of outside interferences.

The GoM has been constituted after the Supreme Court had indicted CBI for being a “caged parrot” of its political masters while hearing a case related to alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation.

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