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13.00pmTo14

13.00pmTo14

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Published by: Rituparna Chatterjee on Dec 29, 2011
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12/29/2011

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-SK/YSR/1.00/1Z
DR. ABHISHEK MANU SINGHVI (CONTD.)
: Incidentally, priorsanction under section 6A for Joint Secretaries and above wasrequired to be abolished by the Vineet Narain judgement. If Irecollect rightly, the NDA Government brought it back. But thatapart, this Bill, for the first time, abolishes the prior sanction apartfrom abolishing all other sanctions under section 19 of thePrevention of Corruption Act and under section 197, but section 6Ain particular. Incidentally, section 6A was perhaps not specificallyabolished even in the Government Bill introduced earlier. But afterthe Report, it has been accepted and it is abolished. Two, we have been talking in this country for 60 years that itis better to have some differentiation between investigation andprosecution. It creates better objectivity. Today, suppose I am aninvestigator. I come back to the CBI and tell my colleague sitting inthe next room that this is my investigation, you please prosecute.Collegiality means that he will normally prosecute on not such agood investigation. But separation of prosecution and investigationhas been a progressive ideal of most systems. This Bill, for the firsttime, creates a separation, a Chinese wall. For Lokpal-referred
 
investigations, the Lokpal shall prosecute. There is objectivitythere. Three, there is clearly, among others, in clause 25, astatement that the merits of the investigation of the CBI shall not beinterfered with. But here comes an important point which theLeader of the Opposition made. The Leader of the Opposition wastalking about the common law in England and India. The commonlaw means judge-made law. That means the investigation processof the CBI or any investigating agency cannot and should not beinterfered with. But there is no law which says that the statutorylaw cannot change the common law. Perhaps my friend hasforgotten that. That is why we are considering in the Bill a specificprovision which overrides and seeks to amend section 173. It, infact, makes the charge-sheet or the closure report fileable by theLokpal. The Lokpal is the one which will file the charge-sheet. Onthe one hand, you keep saying that the Lokpal should be importantand it should be strong. On the other hand, when we provide forLokpal-initiated investigation, that the whole control remains withthe Lokpal, you start objecting.Remember, the CBI deals with cases relating to murder andrape; it deals with those cases which do not fall in the category of
 
prevention of corruption cases; it deals with economic offences; itdeals with CBI-referred cases; it deals with High Court-referredcases; and it deals with the Supreme Court referred cases. Theseare not the cases we are considering. The CBI is separate for all ofthem. The cases we are considering are the Lokpal-referredinvestigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Well, in thatcase why should not the matter come back to the Lokpal to file acharge-sheet? We have amended section 173. Does any law saythat Parliament, under the new Bill, cannot amend the commonlaw?Now I come to section 8A. And this is very interesting. Oneof the arguments is this. I always get mixed up whether theargument is from that person sitting outside or from the BJP. Thereare nuances of that. And there is a great overlap. One of thearguments of Team Anna and partly of the BJP is that yousubmerge the whole CBI under the Lokpal or give administrativecontrol of the CBI to the Lokpal.Let us look at this argument for a minute. Of course, theynever thought of transferring any administrative control during theNDA regime. Today, everything in this country must be transferred.Even the Selection Committee of the Prime Minister, the Chief

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