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Separate prosecution wing for CBI

New Delhi, Sept. 23: The CBI will shortly have an independent directorate of prosecution to be headed by S.K. Sharma, the legal adviser to the investigating agency.

Sharma will be the first director of prosecution to be constituted in the country's premier intelligence agency.

The decision to have an independent prosecution directorate is a sequel to the Supreme Court decision in the Vineet Narain case (Jain hawala case) on December 18, 1997. The court had directed the government to empower the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as an autonomous body to control and supervise the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The judgment also directed the government to have two wings in the CBI — investigation and prosecution. Due to improper investigation and lack of evidence, several CBI prosecuted cases fall flat in courts. A fully-fledged prosecution wing would scrutinise the investigation and test it in the light of evidence so that prosecution is strengthened.

Government sources said that Sharma’s name has been cleared and sent to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA) and its approval, which is a mere formality, is awaited.

“Following the Centre’s pattern, there could be similar prosecution departments in the state and the union territory CID wings” the sources said, adding that the CID network would continue to be under the respective state governments.

The CBI has been constituted under the Delhi Special Police Act, 1946, but the creation of a directorate of prosecution will not be under the same Act.

The apex court had failed to take note of Section 4 of the Delhi Special Police Act, and since its constitutional validity was not gone into, the CBI would “as usual” be under the influence of the ruling party of the day, the sources pointed out.

While Sharma will head the prosecution directorate, the directorate of investigation will be under the CBI director, who will have no interference, nor control over the prosecution directorate. Thus, the CBI will now function under two heads.

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