CBI wants 3-month deadline for govt to sanction action against officers

FP

The CBI wants a three-month deadline to be set for granting sanction to prosecute/ investigate government officials, failing which permission should be deemed as granted, and the agency allowed to go ahead with its action.

The agency is set to move this proposal for a "time-bound grant of prosecution sanction and permission under section 6A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act" during its presentation before the GoM on CBI's autonomy headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The CBI is set to ask the GoM to pass a statutory order in this connection.

Under 6A, the government's sanction is required for any inquiry against an officer of the rank of joint secretary or above.

Sources said the agency will also take up lacunae in 6A, under which CBI's "traps" for joint secretaries and above were challenged on the ground that it did not have the government's permission.

"This is one of the biggest obstacles while probing corruption at higher levels. We cannot go on seeking government permission before the trap, as it may alert the official," said a top CBI official.

The agency will also demand that the deputation of officers be expedited, and the CBI director be given more autonomy in selection of officers from states. Currently, it takes about a year-and-a-half for the DoPT to clear deputation requests of non-IPS officers, and three-six months for IPS officers.

The CBI also plans to seek more financial and functional powers for its director. "Even for hiring a lawyer, consultant or expert, we need to get clearance from the DOPT," said the official.

According to the CBI, of the total budget allocated to it, 82 per cent is spent on salaries and 14 per cent on day-to-day functioning, leaving only 4 per cent for research and modernisation. The agency wants the funds for modernisation, training and research to be enhanced from the current Rs 8 crore to Rs 40 crore.

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