In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court the Centre has declined to give minimum 3-year term to CBI Director among other issues.

The Centre on Friday rejected in the Supreme Court the CBI’s demand for complete autonomy. An all-powerful CBI Director without adequate checks and balances, it contended, would not be in consonance with settled constitutional principles, would always carry the risk of potential misuse, and may not be conducive to fearless and independent functioning of the organisation at all levels.

Responding to the CBI’s demand for more autonomy in its affidavit in the ‘coal case’, the Centre also turned down the plea for three-year tenure for the CBI Director.

“Autonomy and accountability,” it said, “go hand in hand.”

“Government is duty bound to protect its citizens against misuse of power and arbitrary action by any institution. Authority without accountability will be draconian.”

The Centre submitted that the agency’s internal vigilance mechanism would not be able to deliver on complaints against its officials as the CBI’s Chief Vigilance Officer is a full-time employee of the agency and may not be in a position to question the director on potential acts of omission and commission.

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