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Parliament passes Bills to streamline tenures of ED, CBI, CVC chiefs

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 14, 2021
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Centre trying to curb corruption, enhance transparency of administration, says MoS Jitendra Singh

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill and the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill. According to the Government, the Bills are for providing “clear and unambiguous enabling provision regarding tenure” of the officers heading the investigating agencies such as the CBI, ED and the Central Vigilance Commission.

The Opposition has been arguing that the Bills are for greater governmental control over the three important offices of CBI Director, ED Director, and the Central Vigilance Commissioner. The Bills were passed after the Opposition members walked out in protest of the suspension of 12 MPs. Lok Sabha had passed both the Bills earlier.

Enhancing transparency

Moving the Bills, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the Centre is trying to curb corruption and is enhancing transparency of administration. “In recent years, the nation is faced with the triple menace of corruption, black money and international crime that is linked to drug trafficking, terrorism and criminal offences and all these are a threat to the security and financial structure of the country. The methodology of crime has changed and is highly sophisticated and structured which makes crime investigation a far more difficult task,” he said, explaining the reasons for making amendments to the Acts.

“These amendments have been brought in also because the financial action task force, of which India is a member, also expects us to improve the resources for financial crime investigation and the international crime,” he added.

The amendment does not seek to increase the tenure; rather, it seeks to put an embargo on the tenure of five years. “The existing law under the DSP Act provides for tenure not more than two years,” Singh said.

On extending the tenure of the ED chief, Singh said the ED has a very crucial role even in money laundering cases.

“But for India, most of the other countries have a much longer term. And here also, the term is not being made indefinite,” he said.

Minister flays Opposition

The minister also criticised the Opposition for not participating in the debate. He said most cases were registered during the UPA’s tenure and it involves some of the “high and mighty” of those times. “It is a sad day in the history of Parliament that the principal Opposition party has chosen not to side with those working against black money but with the beneficiaries of black money,” Singh said.

Published on December 14, 2021

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