Govt Not Taking Issue of CBI's Autonomy Seriously: BJP

BJP today accused the government of not being serious on the crucial issues of making the process of appointment of Lokpal free from government control and for providing autonomy to CBI.

The party also questioned the government's right to make amendments in the Lokpal Bill even when the Bill was the property of the Rajya Sabha, saying any change can be only met by the Upper House in terms of Parliamentary procedure.

"The process of appointment of Lokpal must be transparent and free from government control. The autonomy of the investigating body while investigating cases of corruption is of crucial importance. I regret to say that whatever we heard from the government today raises serious questions about that," BJP Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Questioning the government's intentions, the BJP leader said the government has not been able to "convincingly convey" as to why the larger issues raised in the Select Committee of Parliament have not found favour with the government on the two crucial components.

He said BJP has been saying for the last two years that the country wants an effective Lokpal Bill which should be as per constitutional provisions.

Prasad said Lokayuktas in states should be in place within a year, making the Lokpal Bill as a 'model bill' for states to follow.

Asked if BJP supported the agitation launched by Anna Hazare, Prasad said "he is a public leader and we respect him. He has played an important role in awakening the public. He has full right to do so in a democracy. We will put forth his concerns during discussions on the Bill in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and we will try and redress all shortcomings in the Bill."

Prasad said "the government is not taking the issue of CBI autonomy seriously. The autonomy of the investigating body is of paramount importance. BJP opposes this and will respond in Parliament on the issue."

Accusing the government of interference in CBI, he said "there are many instances under the UPA of investigators, who are doing a professional job while investigating sensitive cases, suddenly being required in higher assignment, hence needing a transfer."

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