BJP holds back its comments on Supreme Court affidavit on CBI autonomy

New Delhi, July 3 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday played safe on the affidavit filed by the Central Government in the Supreme Court on the issue of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) autonomy, saying it would react only after going through all the details.

"Two things we have to understand. One is that it was done by the Supreme Court and in a situation when the CBI was constantly being misused and abused in spite of it being one of the premier agencies of the country. The constant political misuse of the CBI is also seen. The second part is what has been written in the affidavit. Of course, appointment of the Director is one issue. This particular subject was discussed in the Parliamentary Standing Committee and the Standing Committee has gone deep into the subject and there are several recommendations," said BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.

"Whether all recommendations have been incorporated in the affidavit or not, if there is anything missing, one will have to read the details of the affidavit and look into it, and see what is missing and what has not been incorporated. We will see all that and then take it up from there," she added.

The Centre earlier in the day submitted an affidavit in the apex court on insulating CBI from external influence.

The 41-page affidavit, which has been prepared by a Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, includes proposals by the ministerial group for the independence and the functional autonomy of the CBI.

According to the affidavit, a collegium system has been proposed for the appointment of the CBI Director, which will include Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

The CBI Director will have more financial powers.

The Union Cabinet had accepted the recommendation of the GoM to enhance the autonomy of CBI.

The Supreme Court had earlier made scathing observations on the functioning of CBI while hearing the coal block allocation case, and had given the government time till July 3 to come up with proposals for greater autonomy to the CBI.

The apex court had called the CBI 'a caged parrot' that speaks in its master's voice after the investigating agency admitted in an affidavit that Ashwani Kumar, who quit as the Law Minister, and senior officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the coal ministry had made certain changes in the report on the allocation of coal blocks.

The apex court, which called the CBI a 'caged parrot with many masters', stressed the need for the CBI to operate independently of the political establishment. (ANI)

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