New Delhi: The Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday discussed ways to give greater autonomy and more financial powers to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The GoM, at its first meeting, was given a power-point presentation by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in which it opposed scrapping of the provision which requires CBI to seek government's permission before probing an official of the rank of Joint Secretary and above in corruption cases.

The proposal giving more financial powers to the Director of CBI did not find much support in the meeting which was attended by Chidambaram, Law Minister Kapil Sibal, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy, sources said.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde could not attend the meeting as he is in the US.

Emerging from an hour-long meeting, Chidambaram said, "We were briefed by Department of Personnel on the Supreme Court order. And we were taken through present laws the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, the CVC Act. We were taken through Vineet Narain judgement. We identified the issues that need to be addressed."

He said Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati has been invited to the next meeting. The sources said CBI Director Ranjit Sinha would make a presentation before the GoM.

Kapil Sibal said, “The discussion was a "very preliminary" where DoPT gave a presentation on legal provisions. The GoM will deliberate on ways to further strengthen CBI's autonomy and safeguard it from any kind of outside interferences,”

The GoM was set up after the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to bring a law to give the agency functional autonomy and to stop interference in its functioning.  Buffoon

(JPN/Agencies)

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