GoM will work towards giving functional autonomy to CBI: Chidambaram

London, May 17 : Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the Group of Ministers (GoM) formed by the government will work towards giving functional autonomy to CBI, but at the same time asserted that accountability is important.

"The government will give CBI functional autonomy and will ensure a large degree of functional autonomy to the agency in the matters of investigation," Chidambaram, who is on an official visit to UK told NDTV.

Chidambaram's comments came three days after Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Chidambaram to decide the plan of action to insulate the investigating agency from external influence.

Besides Chidambaram, the GoM has External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, newly-appointed Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy as members.

According to reports, the GoM will deliberate on ways to further strengthen CBI's autonomy and safeguard it from any kind of outside interferences.

The government's move came after the Supreme Court had called the CBI "a caged parrot" that "speaks in its master's voice after the investigating agency admitted in an affidavit that Ashwani Kumar, who quit as the Law Minister, and senior officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the coal ministry had made certain changes in the report on the allocation of coal blocks.

The apex court, which reserved its harshest words for the CBI, calling it a "caged parrot with many masters", stressed the need for the CBI to operate independently of the political establishment.

"You are not a constable or head constable. You are a premier investigating agency and must learn to work under pressure. It (probe) is not a collaborative exercise between the CBI and ministry officials ... It is a sordid saga of many masters and one parrot," it said.

--ANI (Posted on 17-05-2013)

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