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Cabinet to decide on how to make the CBI autonomous


Pallavi Ghosh,CNN-IBN
Jun 27, 2013 at 03:06pm IST

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet is all set to take up the issue of autonomy to the CBI on Thursday. The Cabinet will take up recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was set up to examine the issue.

The GoM's recommendations may not be made public on Thursday since they are part of the government's affidavit to the Supreme Court. But CNN-IBN has accessed a few recommendations.

The CBI Director in future is to be appointed through a collegium which will include the Leader of Opposition. A panel of retired judges will also be set up to look into complaints against the CBI.

An approval committee will also be set up to look into complaints made against government officers above a certain rank. The CVC will be part of this approval committee. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had called the CBI a caged parrot and had directed the government to take steps to free the agency by July.

SP leader Naresh Agarwal said, "We aren't in the favour of making the CBI autonomous. No country has got an autonomous investigation agency. If the CBI is made autonomous then none of the ministers will be spared. There will be a coup. The agency will jail all the leaders and will take over the reigns of the country."

The Union Cabinet is meeting on Thursday to also decide on pricing for gas and and the Coal Bill. It is scheduled to take up the contentious issue of gas pricing which will result in higher electricity and fertilizer costs.

The Oil Ministry wants to move towards aligning the price of gas with market rates - the proposal has met with stiff opposition both within government - from the power and fertilizer ministries and outside the government from the CPI. As for coal, the Cabinet will also consider the Draft Bill for setting up a Coal Regulatory Authority.

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