Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Sunday rejected the government’s proposal on CBI autonomy, alleging that it was merely a “camouflage” because the proposals are a “remedy worse than the existing problem” that rely on retired judges who are an “unaccountable institution”. He has termed the government move on this issue a “farce”.
“The recent decision of the Union Cabinet based on GoM recommendations is a camouflage. It creates an illusion by removing the political executive and creating a proxy institution instead. The government’s decision is a remedy worse than the existing problem,” Arun Jaitley has written in a signed article released by the BJP on Sunday.
The BJP leader, in this context, reminded the government of the “near unanimous recommendations (regarding CBI’s autonomy) of the Parliamentary Select Committee (on Lokpal) to which even the UPA members had consented” and demanded that the government place them before the Supreme Court along with additional suggestions from political parties like the BJP to immunise the CBI from political interference.
He highlighted how those recommendations of the parliamentary committee — the appointment of a director by an independent process, separation of a Directorate of Prosecution working independently rather than being an officer on deputation from the Law Ministry, a fixed term for these high offices, absence of government’s control over transfer of officers investigating sensitive cases among others coupled with their ineligibility for re-employment in government would have ensured immunity for the CBI from political interference.
Jaitley pointed out that these recommendations of the standing committee had even been approved by the Cabinet on January 31, 2013 and expressed disappointment that the government has ignored them and instead decided to place recommendations of the GoM before the Supreme Court.
The BJP leader sought to suggest that the GoM’s recommendations fell below the expectation of making the CBI immune from political interference and they “merely make the CBI accountable to a panel of retired judges”.
Jaitley voiced his opposition to roping in retired judges, claiming that this system will perpetuate government’s political control because “government-selected retired judges do not inspire confidence”.
Similar sentiments were expressed by BJP president Rajnath Singh on Sunday who attacked the Congress over the CBI’s handling of Ishrat Jahan encounter case, accusing it of misusing not just the investigative agency but many constitutional authorities also.
“Everyone in the country knows this truth that the Congress government has misused the CBI. Not just the