'Release caged parrot': Madras High Court says CBI needs autonomy

Madras High Court
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Madras High Court 

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The Madras High Court has issued a series of directions to the Central government for releasing the ‘caged parrot’, or ensuring autonomy to the Central Bureau of Investigation

Chennai: The Madras High Court has issued a series of directions to the Central government for releasing the 'caged parrot', or ensuring autonomy to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Hearing a Public Interest Litigation to transfer a case of cheating by a finance company probed by Tamil Nadu Police to the central agency, the court's Madurai bench on Tuesday said:

"Only when the CBI is given a statutory status, (would) the autonomy of CBI would be ensured. Secondly it should have a dedicated cadre of officers on its own without getting the officials on deputation." "The CBI should have an autonomy as that of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who is only accountable to Parliament." The court also said that the CBI Director should be vested with ex-officio powers of the Secretary to the Government of India, reporting directly to the Ministry without having to go through the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Pointing out that the Supreme Court and the High Courts entrust the CBI with investigation of cases without the consent of the states, the court ordered that the Centre consider and take a decision for enactment of a separate Act giving statutory status with more powers and jurisdiction to the CBI at the earliest.It also sought that the CBI shall be made more independent like the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and a separate budgetary allocation shall be made for the agency.

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