BJP insists on CBI’s independence under Lokpal bill


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not accept an amended Lokpal bill which does not ensure independence of the CBI from the government, party sources said Thursday.

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While the government has made several changes in the bill which is likely to get a cabinet approval during the day, a BJP leader indicated that there was no change in the party’s stand on the status of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) vis a vis Lokpal.

The BJP has been insisting on making the CBI independent of the government, while the civil society’s version of the anti-graft bill advocated putting the probe agency’s anti-corruption wing under the Lokpal.

Sources said one of the proposals for arriving at a compromise on the independence of the CBI was to have independent collegiums to appoint the probe agency’s director.

It was also proposed that instead of getting charge sheets approved by the government, the CBI may get these approved by the Lokpal. However, CBI officials were not happy with the proposal.

In the official briefing of the party, BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain alleged that the government was intentionally delaying the bill, so that it may not be passed in the current session of parliament.

“The government is intentionally delaying the Lokpal bill. It is neither good for the government, nor for the country,” Hussain told reporters.

“Our Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley raised the issue on the first day of the session. We want the bill to be passed in this session,” he added.

The union cabinet is to take up the amendments to the Lokpal bill in the evening, after which the draft legislation will go to the Rajya Sabha, and then back the Lok Sabha, where it has already been passed in the original form.

The government is likely to bring the bill before the Rajya Sabha May 21, the penultimate day of the session.