Govt may request SC for review of selection procedure in CBI

May 11, 2014 03:07 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 07:04 pm IST - New Delhi

The CBI is likely to request Supreme Court to review the selection procedure for senior-level appointments in the probe agency in its response to a notice in the case relating to a woman IPS officer being picked as its Additional Director.

The CBI was impleaded in the case on Friday on request of Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, who was appearing on behalf of the Government in a matter related to appointment of >Archana Ramasundaram , a 1980 IPS batch officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, as Additional Director in the agency.

The Supreme Court, which has taken several steps in bringing operational autonomy to the CBI, had on Friday restrained >Ms. Ramasundram from functioning as Additional Director as an interim relief to the petitioner who had challenged her appointment.

The Apex court bench headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, while restraining her from discharging the functions of Additional Director CBI until July 14, clarified that interim order shall not be construed as reflection on the competence or merits of the officer in any manner whatsoever.

The bench, however, said it has become necessary in view of strong prima facie case made out with regard to legal flaw in selection.

The bench, which also comprised justices A.K. Patnaik, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Surinder Singh Nijjar, agreed to a request by Solicitor General Parasaran in impleading CBI Director as party in the PIL filed by journalist Vineet Narain.

The CBI will be filing its reply soon after it was issued a notice by the apex court, agency sources said.

“The main legal issues involved is constitution of CVC Board for appointments in the CBI and role of the Director,” according to CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

Sources in the Government said the CBI would request the Supreme Court to review the selection procedure for officers at Additional Director and Special Director level in the agency. The CBI Director is only a special invitee in these appointments and his observations are not recorded.

In view of the sensitivity of these posts, the sources said the CBI will also tell the apex court that officers of the rank of Additional and Special Director should be appointed in consent with the Director as all of them have to work in a team.

In a related development, Ms. Ramasundram filed a nine-page reply challenging the maintainability of PIL saying it was lacking any public interest as it was based on media reports.

Ms. Ramasundram had been selected to the post on February 7, 2014 by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The appointment was done after getting clearance from Tamil Nadu Government in October last year.

However, after the appointment was cleared by the ACC, Tamil Nadu government did not issue the relieving order despite several reminders from the Centre.

Finally, a letter was sent to Ms. Ramasundaram on May seven asking her to join the duties immediately as the post of Additional Director was a high-level supervisory rank post.

“In view of the fact that the Supreme Court has been monitoring several high profile cases being investigated by the CBI, keeping this post vacant for a long time has not been viewed favourably by the CBI Director,” the letter sent from Department of Personnel to the officer said.

According to the rules, if an officer does not join within the stipulated time, he or she runs the risk of being black listed for any further central postings.

Ms. Ramasundaram, who joined on May 8 in the CBI, was subsequently suspended by the Tamil Nadu Government on the same evening.

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