Govt mulling introducing provisions for removal of CBI chief

Last Updated: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 15:08

New Delhi: Government is mulling introducing provisions for removal of CBI Director who gets a fixed tenure of two years after a 1997 Supreme Court order in the Vineet Narain judgement.

A report card released today by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before his press conference says Government is considering several measures for greater autonomy of CBI in which one of the issues is providing provisions for removal of the Director.

The agency is probing several big-ticket corruption cases including 2G, CWG and Coal allocation scams which have proved to be an embarrassment for the government over the last three years.
Last year, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar had to resign after it came to light that he along with the officials of PMO were involved in changing the "heart" of agency`s draft status report on coal scam.

In the Vineet Narain judgement, the Supreme Court had fixed the tenure of CBI Director to be a minimum of two years so that the officer could work with independence.

"The Director, CBI shall have a minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation. This would ensure that an officer suitable in all respects is not ignored merely because he has less than two years to superannuate from the date of his appointment," the Supreme Court had held in the order.

The apex court had also said Director can be transferred only in "extraordinary" circumstances with the approval of selection committee comprising Central Vigilance Commissioner with the Home Secretary and Secretary (Personnel) as members.
In the report card issued before Prime Minister`s third
press conference in last 10 years, it has been mentioned that Government is considering proposal for non-interference in CBI investigations.

"Several measures for greater functional autonomy of CBI are under the consideration of the Government viz. Appointment of Director, CBI on recommendation of a committee; provisions for removal of the Director, CBI; Director, CBI to be in the selection committee for selection of officers at the level of SP and above in CBI; non interference in CBI investigations," it said.

The document also said Government is considering to ensure three-month deadline for deciding on agency`s request for sanction of prosecution, statutory provisions for Director (Prosecution) in CBI and establishment of an Accountability Commission.

"Autonomy in investigation is already guaranteed," it said.
The Government has already amended CVC Act making it mandatory for CBI to present its charge sheets before the anti-corruption watchdog in the cases referred by it before filing them in the competent court, a move which is seen by CBI as dilution of the powers of investigating officers. 

PTI

First Published: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 15:08

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