Did govt ignore Parliamentary panels` advice on CBI autonomy?

The government consistently opposed Parliamentary Committees` recommendations for enactment of a separate law to ensure hassle-free working of CBI.

New Delhi: The government had in the past consistently opposed Parliamentary Committees` recommendations for enactment of a separate legislation to ensure hassle-free working of CBI in probing graft cases across the country saying the agency was already working under a separate law.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Tuesday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to draft a bill for ensuring independent functioning of CBI within three weeks time.

The government`s move came after the Supreme Court had rapped CBI for being a "caged parrot" of its political masters while hearing a case related to alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation.

In one of its recent reports, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice has termed as "archaic" the existing 66-year-old legislation governing CBI and suggested enactment of a separate law or amendment in the present Act for the investigating agency to give it more statutory backing.

The Committee, in its report tabled in Parliament on May 3, has said the archaic Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1947 governing CBI was "grossly inadequate" and asked the Ministry of Personnel to either make changes in it or enact a new law.

"The Committee reiterates its recommendation made in its 56th report that in the event of enacting a fresh statute for CBI is not found feasible, requisite amendments may be made in the DSPE Act," it has said.

The Committee had, in its 56th report before the House in March this year, recommended a legislation on the lines of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 so that CBI can probe corruption cases throughout the country without the states` consent.

It has termed as "inadequate" Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act which governs CBI`s functioning.

However, the government had, in its action taken report on the panel`s recommendation, said no proposal was being considered for the purpose as there is already a separate legislation for CBI-- DSPE Act, 1947 as amended by CVC Act, 2003.