Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram dismissed the idea of the Central Bureau of Investigation being ordered around and said that it was neither a 'caged bird' nor a puppet of the Congress-led UPA government.
"There are several myths of CBI being caged parrot and being 'Congress Bureau of Investigation', none of these are correct. In a lighter vein I may say that sometimes CBI itself pretends to be a victim to get autonomy," the minister said while addressing the CBI conference on corruption on Tuesday.
Chidambaram had assured to make the investigation agency autonomous in May after the Supreme Court had castigated the UPA government for interfering with CBI's probe into the coal allocation scam. The apex court observed that the agency is a "caged parrot that has many masters."
Over the argument of the agency's autonomy, PM Manmohan Singh had pointed out on Monday that like any other police organization, CBI too is answerable to the executive.
The finance minister reiterated that no matter how credible the agency is, "It isn't the investigating agency's business to decide on rule of conduct, should confine itself to see if rule violated. CBCI is part of the executive government. It is bound by the general rules as other wings of the government."
He further cautioned that investigative agencies need to draw a line between policy-making and policing.
On a recent case of unprecedented order by the Guahati High court that did not recognize CBI as even a police force, on which the Supreme Court put a stay order, Chidambaram said, "It is time to start re-thinking legal foundations of CBI to achieve transparency."