Centre-TN at loggerheads over Archana Ramasundaram's appointment

July 14, 2014 07:24 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 07:11 pm IST - New Delhi

The Centre on Monday defended in the Supreme Court the appointment of IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram, as Additional Director of CBI and pleaded for allowing her to discharge the duties. The Tamil Nadu government, however, opposed her appointment and said she continued to be an officer in the State.

Acting on a writ petition filed by journalist Vineet Narain, the court on May 9 had observed that the petitioner had made out a strong prima facie that Ms. Archana Ramasundaram’s appointment was not in accordance with the procedure contemplated under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and restrained her from discharging her functions.

During the resumed hearing on Monday the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a three-judge bench of the Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices C.K. Prasad and Rohinton Nariman that there was no violation in the procedure in the appointment of Ms. Ramasundaram. Since she was a meritorious officer, she should be allowed to discharge her functions, he said and urged the court to vacate the stay order.

Senior counsel Amarendra Saran, appearing for Ms. Ramasundaram said the Tamil Nadu government did not respond for three months to her plea for relieving her and she had to join duty on May 8 after she was asked to join. Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the petitioner submitted that her appointment was made without following the procedure.

The CJI asked counsel for parties “how did she join without being relieved by Tamil Nadu. This is the further flaw in the appointment brought to our notice by the state. She cannot join without being permitted. If the state government has not given permission then her joining the CBI is meaningless. Continuation of the stay order is justified in the light of the contentions raised by the state government.”

Senior counsel Shekar Naphade, appearing for TN government submitted that the State had filed an impleadment application opposing the appointment of Ms. Ramasundaram. The application, filed through the State counsel B. Balali, said “Ms. Archana Ramasundaram continues to be the officer of Tamil Nadu government. It has already initiated departmental action by issuing a memo of charges against her misconduct of deserting her office without getting relieving orders and without properly handing over charge of her post of Chairperson/Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board.” The bench asked the parties to respond to the TN’s application and posted the matter for further hearing on July 21.

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