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Proposal for more powers to CBI fails to find favour with GoM

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 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

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 6, 2011 - 00:54

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