Will Lokpal have jurisdiction to conduct investigations abroad? This was the question asked by CBI Director Ranjit Sinha to the government as he sought clarification about various "inconsistencies" in the Act passed by Parliament recently.
In his five-page letter to Personnel Department Secretary S K Sarkar, Sinha said Section 36 of the 'The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013' states that a Lokpal officer, making a preliminary probe, can approach the local court and secure an order for making any evidence available if it is in "different contracting state".
"...the Special Court, on being satisfied that such evidence is required in connection with the preliminary inquiry or investigation into an offence or proceeding under this Act, may issue a letter of request to a court or an authority in the contracting state competent to deal with such request," the Act said.
However, the CBI Director raised a query, saying, from this section it was not clear whether such states included foreign countries and if such requests could be sent by using the provisions of the Treaties and Agreements with such foreign countries.
Sinha also pointed out some anomalies in the amended CVC Act, flagging the amended Section 8 whereby the agency will not be able to file charge sheets against group C and D officials of the Centre without consulting the Central Vigilance Commission.
The CBI Director said bestowing such powers on a non-police officer of forming an opinion on the material collected during investigations by a police officer, about prosecution or otherwise, is completely contrary to the provisions of the CrPC as well as the settled position of law as decided by the Supreme Court in catena of judgements.
Sinha has also suggested that in case a false, frivolous or vexatious complaint is filed against the CBI, Director of CBI should also be allowed to make complaints in the court.