Today News Online Service
New Delhi, March 4
NGO Common Cause has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking appointment of a regular CBI Director by the selection committee of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition.
The petition questioned the government’s move to appoint an acting/interim CBI Director after the term of previous CBI Director got over.
“The government has failed to appoint the Director of CBI as per Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 on the expiry of the term of the last incumbent Director Rishi Kumar Shukla on February 2 this year and has instead, vide order dated February 3, appointed Praveen Sinha as an interim/acting CBI Director till the appointment of new CBI Director, or until further orders,” the petition submitted.
The NGO urged the top court to direct the Centre to initiate and complete the process of selection of the CBI Director well in advance — at least one to two months before the date on which the vacancy in the post of CBI Director occurred in future.
The petitioner sought a direction to the Centre “to appoint a regular Director of CBI forthwith by following the procedure laid down in Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013″.
Under the amended law, the CBI Director’s appointment has to be made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, leader of the single largest Opposition party and the Chief Justice of India (or a Supreme Court judge nominated by CJI).
The petitioner referred to the top court’s 1998 verdict directing that Director CBI would have full freedom for allocation of work in the CBI including constitution of investigation teams. It had also directed that there should be a selection committee to identify a panel of names for the appointment of Director CBI, and thereafter the final selection to be made by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.
This Court had said the CBI Director would have a fixed tenure of two years in order to ensure that ad-hocism in the appointment and functioning of CBI Director was eliminated and his independence was maintained, the NGO pointed out.