CBI officers’ plea to restrain Centre from framing new appointment rules turned down

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to issue a direction to the Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to consider a law to make the CBI an independent organisation, to study parliamentary committee reports on the investigating agency before making recommendations.

A Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and Dipak Misra turned down the plea of counsel Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for a section of CBI officers, who sought a direction to restrain the Centre from framing new rules for appointment of officers.

The officers wanted the government not to go against the recommendation of the parliamentary committees which had suggested building up a strong CBI cadre and reduce dependence on deputation.

Justice Chauhan told counsel, “We cannot pass such a mandamus to the government.” When counsel submitted that nine parliamentary reports on this issue were not being considered by the government, the judge said that since the issue was being dealt with by a different Bench, the vacation Bench could not look into it.

When Ms. Jaiswal told the court that the government might come out with an ordinance on the CBI, Justice Chauhan said, “We can’t pre-empt any ordinance. Propriety demands that it should come before the same Bench. You approach the same Bench which is seized of the matter relating to filling up of vacancies in the CBI.”

The officers, in their petition, submitted that the GoM must give them an opportunity to make representations before it.

The petition said, “Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government, which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of the standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM.”

The officers said the cadre officers were deliberately kept away from the CBI functioning, as none of them, in the last 50 years, had even been appointed to any post in the organisation which dealt with administrative and policymaking decisions.

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