Proposal for more powers to CBI fails to find favour with GoM
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 00:54
New Delhi: A proposal to give more powers to the CBI by amending a provision of the Act, which governs its functions, has not found favour with a Group of Ministers set up to suggest means to tackle corruption.

The GoM, in its preliminary observation, is understood to have turned down a proposal to amend Section 6 A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

As per Section 6 A, CBI cannot conduct an inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, except with the previous approval of the central government when such allegations relate to its employees of Joint Secretary level and above.

The GoM, however, is learnt to have suggested that the DoPT can separately have a look into the proposal to either amend or do away with the provision, sources said.

The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee-led panel felt that safeguards like Section 6 A were required for bureaucrats to function without fear and seeking permission from the government before proceeding against them will provide them with the required shield.

A similar proposal to amend a law to provide for summary trial of bureaucrats accused of "grave misdemeanour" or "blatant corruption" has also found little favour with the GoM.

The GoM is of the view that there needs to be a proper "balance between fundamental rights and administrative exigencies", sources told agency.

The Group, which has met thrice so far, is of the opinion that amendment to Article 311 of the Constitution to provide for summary proceedings against bureaucrats would not be the best option, the sources said.

Amendment to Article 311 was one of the seven terms of reference of the GoM, which was to give its report by March 6 but has been given an extension.

On the issue of discretionary powers to Union Ministries, the GoM is learnt to have said that in a majority of cases, the discretionary powers are in fact "powers exercised by the ministers in performance of their bonafide duties...It was felt that in such cases there is a need to ensure that such powers are exercised under prescribed guidelines/rules," sources quoting the report said.

Some of the ministries are yet to respond to the GoM on discretionary powers being used by them.


First Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 00:54

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