Centre should ‘immediately’ appoint regular CBI Director, says apex court

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Feb 2019 09:37:05




THE Supreme Court on Friday said it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI Director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency. The post of CBI Director is “sensitive” and “important”, and it is not good to keep an interim Director of the agency for longer period, the top court observed, seeking to know as to why the Government has not made the appointment yet.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha was hearing the case. “We are only saying that you should appoint CBI Director immediately. No more of this in-charge business,” the bench told the Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre. The top court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI Director. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, told the top court that 40 officers have been transferred from CBI in last two-three weeks.

The bench told Venugopal that the officer who would be appointed as the new CBI Director should examine not only the decisions taken by Rao after taking charge of interim CBI chief but also “trace the movement of files” during the period when IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma took charge of the post for two days on being reinstated.

During the hearing, Venugopal placed before the bench in a sealed cover the minutes of the meeting of the high-powered Selection Committee which was held last month for appointing the new CBI chief. The last meeting of the committee took place on January 24 but it remained “inconclusive”.

Venugopal informed the bench that the Centre had taken the permission of the committee to appoint Rao as an interim CBI Director. The Selection Committee comprises the Prime Minister, the leader of the largest Opposition party and the Chief Justice of India or his nominee judge of the apex court.


PM-led panel’s meet on CBI chief selection ‘inconclusive’



THE second meeting of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel on CBI chief’s selection remained inconclusive, officials said on Friday. The panel had earlier met on January 24 but could not decide on the CBI chief.

Friday’s meeting was attended by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. During the second meeting of the three-member selection committee, the Government is understood to have put forth the names of a few officers who could be considered for the appointment as the CBI Director, they said. However, these names were objected to by Kharge, the officials said. Senior IPS officers Javeed Ahmed, Rajni Kant Misra, S S Deswal and Shivanand Jha are said to be among the front-runners for the coveted post.

“The meeting was inconclusive. No decision could be taken during the meeting,” a senior Government official said, without citing further details. The post of the CBI chief has been lying vacant since January 10 after the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma.