Centre not in favour of giving 'super powers' to CBI

New Delhi, Aug 3 (ANI): The Central Government has rejected most demands of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for making it an autonomous investigation agency.

The government has contended that the "authority without accountability will be draconian," particularly for the CBI which had the power to arrest, seize and raid like the police, besides keeping the accused in confinement.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the government said: "In fact, there have been instances in the past where allegations of extortion and bribery leading to coloured investigation have emerged against some CBI officials. An external Accountability Commission would only help in furthering the integrity of investigation."

The government argued that it works on systems of checks and balances and builds adequate safeguards so that scope for misuse and arbitrary action is minimised.

"The internal vigilance mechanism as proposed by the CBI would not be in a position to deliver such a protection," it said.

The External Accountability Commission proposed by the government would comprise judicial members with "impeccable integrity and judicious temperament with many years of experience" besides the Central Vigilance Commissioner. Also, the complainants would have to first approach the CBI Director. Therefore, the reservations of the CBI on an accountability commission "are not tenable and without any basis," it said.

The government rejected the CBI's proposals for a three-year assured tenure for its Director, instead of two years, and giving it independent authority by according sanction to investigate and prosecute accused officials.

The government also turned down the CBI's demand for vesting its Director with the power to initiate disciplinary action against even Group-A officers as it would be against settled principles of administration.

The government in its affidavit said, "An all-powerful Director CBI without adequate checks and balances would always carry the risk of potential miuse."

The government filed the affidavit in compliance with a Supreme Court order passed while hearing a bunch of PILs over the alleged irregularities in the coal blocks allocation. (ANI)

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