CBI Current Affairs - 2020

Legal wing of CBI brought under agency director

In a bid to provide more autonomy to CBI, government has brought the agency’s directorate of prosecution or the legal wing, which used to report to Law Ministry, under the command of the CBI director, making his orders final in probes.

With this change, the agency director will not only oversee the promotions and postings but also write the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs), as done earlier by law ministry.

What is the responsibility of Directorate of Prosecution (DoP) in CBI?

The DoP in CBI is responsible for conducting and supervising cases pending trial, appeal and revision in courts. It oversees and monitors the conduct of prosecution in courts and gives advice to CBI officers on all legal matters of general or specific importance and on issues coming up during probe or trial.

The DoP was the chief functionary of CBI’s prosecution wing and was vested with powers of direction and control over prosecuting officers. Those powers have now been transferred to the CBI director.

How would placing the legal wing of CBI under the command of CBI director change things?

It was observed that in a number of cases, the investigation by the CBI was overturned by the DoP; but under the new structure the CBI director will have the authority to take a final view on probes and, subsequently, the charge sheets.

The Lokpal Bill, which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, also provides for the DoP chaired by the DoP to be placed under the CBI director. As per the Lokpal Bill, the DoP will be appointed in consultation with the Lokpal and CVC.

Historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill passed

The parliament passed the historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, paving the way for establishment of an ombudsman to fight against corruption in public offices and ensure accountability on the part of public officials, including the Prime Minister, but with some safeguards. Welcoming the Bill’s passage, 76-year-old social activist Anna Hazare broke his fast, into its ninth day, in Ralegaon Siddhi, Maharashtra.

What is Lokpal Bill 2011?

The Lokpal Bill, 2011, also referred to as The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, is an anti-corruption law in India which “seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connecting them. The bill was introduced in parliament following massive public protests led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his associates.

Highlights of Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011
  • The bill provides for the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the States.
  • The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members of which 50% shall be judicial members.The Chairperson may be either a serving or retired Chief Justice of India, or a Judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent person. Fifty per cent of the total members shall be from the higher judiciary.
  • The Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Selection Committee consists of the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by him. One eminent person recommended by the Selection committee and nominated by the President will be its fifth member.
  • Lokpal will have the power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
  • A high powered Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI. Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director.
  • The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI will be made on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.

The Bill also mandates setting up of Lokayuktas through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.