NEW DELHI: In a sudden U-turn, Congress members Thursday forced the Parliamentary committee examining the Lokpal Bill to keep Group C officials out of the Lokpal’s ambit and not to tamper with the present selection process of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director in the face of opposition by at least ten members.
A day after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel and Law and Justice had finalised its report on the Lokpal Bill, its chairman Mr Abhishek Singhvi called an emergency meeting Thursday evening to discuss the two issues afresh.
In the meeting, several members, mostly from the Congress said Group C employees should not be brought under the Lokpal as it would bring “too much pressure” on a new institution.
They also said the appointment of CBI director was not under the jurisdiction of the Committee as the Lokpal Bill was aimed at creating the institution of the ombudsman.
At least ten members, mainly from BJP, SP, CPI-M and RSP opposed the “sudden U-turn” saying a decision taken by the Committee cannot be amended.
“If they have reservations, they should give a dissent note,” BJP member, Mr Kirti Azad said. However, ignoring their contention, Mr Singhvi is learnt to have agreed with the exclusion of Group C employees and not tinkering with the selection process of the CBI chief.
Congress sources said “the sense of the meeting” overwhelmingly was to exclude Group C and not to change the appointment procedure for CBI director. On Wednesday, the Committee had favoured including Group C employees under Lokpal’s purview and having a new selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Lokpal chairman.