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Bill to amend law on CBI chief’s appointment passed in LS

Bill to amend law on CBI chief’s appointment passed in LS

New Delhi: A bill to amend a law on appointment of CBI chief was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday amid stiff resistance with Congress alleging that it was aimed at keeping the largest opposition party out of the selection process, a charge denied by the government.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, while moving the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014, for consideration, insisted that there was “no ulterior motive” and the amendment was aimed only to “smoothen” the process of selecting the CBI Director.

The bill provides for inclusion of leader of the single largest opposition party in the three-member committee that selects the CBI Director since there is no recognised Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. The Committee has Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India as other members.

The amendment bill also provides that “No appointment of a Director shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy or absence of a member in the committee.”

The bill was passed by voice vote but not before a division of votes on its consideration as well as an amendment moved by BJD member Tathagat Satpathy, which was rejected.

Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge made a strong plea to the government to withdraw the measure even at this late stage and bring forward a comprehensive amendment. He was supported by BJD members Tathagat Satpathy and Bhartruhari Mahtab.

He alleged that the amendments have been brought by the government deliberately in order to “humiliate” the opposition.

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