New Delhi: With less than a week left for the retirement of the CBI chief, Parliament on Thursday passed a bill under which it will not be necessary for all the three members of the selection panel to be present to choose the next head of the investigation agency.
The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014, passed by Rajya Sabha today, also provides for inclusion of leader of the single largest opposition party in the three-member committee that selects the CBI Director since there is no recognised Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. The Committee has Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India as other members.
Defending the clause that the appointment of CBI Director will not be held invalid by the absence of one of the three members of the selection committee, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it has been inserted to ensure that the appointment is not delayed due to non-availability of one of the members for the meeting.
The amendment bill, passed by Lok Sabha yesterday, also provides that "No appointment of a (CBI) Director shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a member in the committee."
The clause for doing away with the need for attendance of all the three members of the selection panel for choosing a CBI chief was strongly objected to by Congress, which felt it is aimed at keeping it out of the process.
"India needs a professional, independent, fair and balanced CBI...Our experience was not good. We must have a representative of opposition as part of collegium. The idea is prompted as part of CBI reforms. CBI must not be a partisan agency. It should be fair and there should be particiaption of the Opposition," Jaitley said.