statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 28 JUNE: The Union finance minister, Mr P Chidambaram, today said the government would submit its proposals to make the CBI more autonomous to the Supreme Court before 3 July.
“The government will submit the proposals of the Group of Ministers before the Supreme Court before 3 July. The proposals were approved by the Cabinet on Thursday. The Law Ministry has to vet the same,” Mr Chidambaram said while giving details of the Cabinet decisions taken late last night.
He, however, refused to divulge details of the proposals as the affidavit has to be filed before the apex court. “We can talk to you after 4 July,” he said.
Sources disclosed that a proposal to set up a panel of retired judges to oversee the investigations of CBI to insulate it from political interference is in conformity with existing legal provisions. “What is being proposed does not conflict with any existing legal provision. We could explain it. But we will explain after the affidavit is filed on 3 July… at this stage, I cannot tell you what the affidavit contains,” the finance minister said.
The Union Cabinet had yesterday approved the recommendations of a Group of Ministers set up to provide autonomy to the CBI. The GoM was constituted after the Supreme Court, while examining the coal blocks allocation a few months ago, referred to the CBI as a “caged parrot” and asked the government to suggest ways and means to make the agency autonomous by 10 July, the next date of hearing. The CBI will continue to report to courts about its investigations.