GoM Opposes Scrapping Of Ministers' Discretionary Powers

New Delhi, Apr 6:  A Group of Ministers is understood to have disfavoured abolition of discretionary powers of union ministers, a suggestion made by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the party plenary here in a
gom opposes scrapping of ministers discretionary...
PTI April 06, 2011 15:39 IST

New Delhi, Apr 6:  A Group of Ministers is understood to have disfavoured abolition of discretionary powers of union ministers, a suggestion made by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at the party plenary here in a bid to combat corruption.

The GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is learnt to have pointed out that in most cases, the discretionary powers are in fact "powers exercised by the ministers in performance of their bonafide duties.

"It was felt that in such cases there is a need to ensure that such powers are exercised under prescribed guidelines/rules," sources said.
Some of the ministries are yet to respond to the GoM on discretionary powers being used by them.

Gandhi had during the party plenary in December last year at Burari here suggested union ministers and chief ministers give up discreetionary powers as part of her four-point plan to tackle corruption.

A proposal to give more powers to CBI by amending a provision of the Act, which governs its functions, has also not found favour with a Group of Ministers.

The GoM, in its preliminary observation, is understood to have turned down a proposal to amend Section 6 A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

As per Section 6 A, CBI cannot conduct an inquiry or investigation into any offence committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, except with the previous approval of the central government when such allegations relate to its employees of Joint Secretary-level and above.

The GoM, however, is learnt to have suggested that the DoPT can separately have a look into the proposal to either amend or do away with the provision, sources said.

The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee-led panel felt that safeguards like Section 6 A were required for bureaucrats to function without fear and seeking permission from the government before proceeding against them will provide them with the required shield. PTI

 
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