CBI scripts autonomy bill, home secretary Pillai is all for it

Tells Governance Now that the agency should not have to seek permission of state governments

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | June 18, 2010


Union home secretary G K Pillai
Union home secretary G K Pillai

Union home secretary G K Pillai has backed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s demand for greater autonomy. Especially so in cases where the agency fails to make headway because it is denied permission by the state government to investigate. In an exclusive interview with Governance Now, Pillai said he supported the draft law prepared by the CBI itself which aims at replacing the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946 that governs its functioning.

“All investigative agencies should have much greater autonomy and more powers to investigate. Currently, unless there is permission from the state, the CBI can’t take up a case,” Pillai told Governance Now. As a result, he said, the CBI has not been able to investigate and establish vital links between cases of right-wing terrorism. “Some of the Hindu right-wing cases are in Madhya Pradesh. Those have been investigated by the Madhya Pradesh government and it has not been able to find any clues. We are saying hand it over to the CBI since the CBI is investigating similar cases.  We want to see if there is a linkage between these cases,” he said.

Pillai said the law should be amended so that the CBI does not have to seek the permission of the state government to investigate such cases. “We are noticing a pattern where some extremist elements among the Hindus have started targeting Muslim shrines,” he said, “Some of the Hindu terrorists held have said they are members of organisations like the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) but the involvement of the organisations is a matter of investigation.”

Interestingly, besides freedom to investigate cases without permission of the state governments, the CBI, in its draft CBI Act 2010, has also sought greater clarity on its role. The move comes at a time when the central agency is increasingly being seen as a tool of the party or coalition in power at the centre.

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