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CVC, CBI chief summoned on Lokpal Bill

August 29, 2011 19:35 IST
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Lokpal Bill will meet in New Delhi on September 7 to decide its procedure to fast track the comprehensive exercise for formulating a strong legislation. It will kick off its work by hearing Central Bureau of Investigation director A P Singh and Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar who have been sent notices to appear before it.

In its earlier meeting convened by Standing Committee chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi, members felt the committee's hearings should start with these two since they are the authorities dealing with corruption that will come under the ambit of the Lokpal.

Apart from them, a representative of Team Anna, activist Aruna Roy and Additional Solicitor General Amarjeet Singh Chandhlok have also been asked to appear before the Standing Committee on September 7.

The government version of the Lokpal Bill that is being examined by the Standing Committee envisages a separate and independent investigation wing to probe offences committed by senior public servants, including ministers, under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Since these offences are presently investigated by the CBI, the committee wants to understand from its chief on any possible clash of interests with the Lokpal. It will also elicit from the CBI chief suggestions, based on his experience that can make the Lokpal a strong body.

Both the CVC and the CBI chief will be also quizzed on Team Anna's Jan Lokpal Bill, which proposes that the Lokpal should probe corruption of all central government employees and that the CBI's anti-corruption wing be transferred in to the Lokpal as its investigation wing.

If the committee concedes that the Lokpal should have jurisdiction over all central staff, the job of the CBI would be limited to probe criminal acts while the CVC would be left with no role as it is basically meant to supervise the CBI and monitor vigilance cases of the central ministries and PSUs through the chief vigilance officers. 

 

A Correspondent in New Delhi