Don`t tamper with CVC, CBI: Lokpal panel told

CVC Pradeep Kumar and CBI Director A P Singh opposed any tampering with their organisations as suggested by the Anna Hazare-team.

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2011, 00:42 AM IST

New Delhi: Central Vigilance Commissioner
Pradeep Kumar and CBI Director A P Singh on Saturday opposed any
tampering with their organisations as suggested by the Anna
Hazare-team as they appeared before a Parliamentary Committee
examining Lokpal Bill here.

Kumar and Singh, however favoured making the CVC and CBI
Director ex-officio members of the proposed Lokpal, saying
such a move would bring synergy between the anti-graft
ombudsman and the two organisations.

Both Kumar and Singh told the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Law and Justice, Personnel and Public Grievances
that the functioning and organisational structure of CVC and
CBI should remain untouched, sources said.

Kumar said CVC should continue to have jurisdiction over
higher bureaucracy. "In order to have effective
superintendence over vigilance administration, the CVC and the
existing structure of vigilance administration should not be
disturbed," he told the Committee.
The Anna Hazare team had been demanding that CVC should
come under the purview of the proposed Lokpal. The civil
society activists had also been demanding that the
anti-corruption wing of CBI be under Lokpal.

Singh termed suggestions for putting CBI`s
anti-corruption wing under Lokpal as "retrogade" and said it
would "cripple" the investigating agency, sources said.

He is learnt to have told the panel that the "severed"
anti-corruption unit with Lokpal would be ineffective without
the back-end support units of the CBI.

Kumar pitched for a strong and effective Lokpal which
would focus on the "grand political corruption" indulged into
by ministers, MPs and those civil servants conniving with
their political masters, sources said.
At the same time, the CBI Director favoured the Lokpal
exercising "general superintendence" on anti-corruption
matters as also the powers to meet financial, administrative
and legal requirements of the agency.

Singh also suggested a five-year fixed term for the post
CBI Director or until he attends the age of 65, whichever is
earlier.

Both Kumar and Singh told the Committee that CBI should
be conferred with more administrative and functional autonomy.

The CBI Director also told the panel that there was no
need for a separate investigation wing for the Lokpal as it
would lead to overlapping of work and conflict of
jurisdiction.

Elaborating on the composite nature of the CBI, Singh
said there was no watertight compartmentalising between
various wings of the agency.

In most of the places there is only one CBI branch
designated as anti-corruption branch, which handles all cases,
including conventional crimes, he said.

"Such place will have no infrastructure for CBI if
anti-corruption branches are transferred to the Lokpal," Singh
is learnt to have told the Committee.

He also told the panel that the CBI would lose the
advantage it has on drawing up on the vast talent pool of
officers with different aptitudes, deputationists who bring in
fresh ideas if the anti-corruption wing was subsumed in the
Lokpal.

PTI