Vacancy in panel not to make CBI chief selection invalid: Bill

   New Delhi:The leader of single largest party in Lok Sabha will be included in CBI chief selection process and any vacancy or absence in the panel will not render his appointment invalid, as per the amendment in the DSPE Act to be brought in by the government.

PTI| Updated: Nov 24, 2014, 15:53 PM IST

   New Delhi:The leader of single largest party in Lok Sabha will be included in CBI chief selection process and any vacancy or absence in the panel will not render his appointment invalid, as per the amendment in the DSPE Act to be brought in by the government.

 The Bill was part of today's Lok Sabha agenda. But it could not be taken up as the House adjourned for the day after condoling the deaths of two sitting MPs.

   As per the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014 circulated among the LS members, Section 4 (A) of the DSPE Act will be amended to include the leader of the single largest opposition party in the selection panel that chooses CBI Director when there is no recognised Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha.

     "No appointment of a Director shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a Member in the Committee," the Bill said.

     The enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (also known as Lokpal Act) this year has amended the DSPE Act.

 Under the existing provisions, the CBI chief has to be appointed by the central government on the basis of recommendation of the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister, and comprising the LoP and the Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by him, as members.

     Earlier, a committee headed by Central Vigilance Commissioner would recommend names for CBI Director.

     The amendments in the DSPE Act are being brought in by the government as there is no recognised LoP in the Lok Sabha. Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha has emerged as the second largest party after BJP's 280 but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the LoP's post for which it requires a minimum strength of 55.

     "Keeping in view the legislative practice followed in this regard, it is proposed to provide that no appointment shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a member in the Committee," reads the statement of objects and reasons, behind bringing the amendments, mentioned in the Bill.

     The amendment Bill is likely to be taken up in Lok Sabha tomorrow.

     The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has meanwhile started the process for appointment of new chief of the investigating agency as CBI Director Ranjit Sinha's tenure is ending on December 2.