Cabinet nod to GoM suggestions on CBI autonomy

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) The cabinet Thursday approved a set of proposals by a group of ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister P.Chidambaram on autonomy for the CBI, said informed sources.

According to the sources, this will make the premier probe agency more financially autonomous and will give it a greater degree of freedom while conducting investigations.

According to the sources, the GoM has also suggested a panel of retired judges to monitor the CBI probes to free the agency of outside influence.

The GoM was constituted after the Supreme Court, while examining the coal blocks allocations a few months ago, referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a "caged parrot" and had asked the government to suggest ways and means to make it autonomous by July 10, the next date of hearing.

The apex court was upset with the government after the CBI chief Ranjit Sinha submitted an affidavit saying the draft probe report in the allocation of coal blocks had been shared with the political executive including the then law minister Ashwani Kumar besides officials in the coal ministry and the prime minister's office.

Besides Chidambaram, other members of the GoM are Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy.

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