CBI files affidavit in SC on autonomy
The affidavit said that the director should be given the same powers as enjoyed by a Secretary in the Government of India.
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday on the Central Government's proposal to give the agency autonomy said that the period of two years for the agency director's term is too short. The affidavit said that the CBI director's term needs to be a minimum of three years.
The director should not only be empowered to induct Superintendent of Police (SP) level officers but should be given the same powers as enjoyed by a Secretary in the Government of India.
Moreover, the director should report directly to the Union Home Ministry without having to go through Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT).
Opposing the setting up of an Accountability Commission to look into complaints against CBI officers, the agency said that the creation of an independent commission would have the tendency of compromising discipline within the agency. The CBI director should have more financial powers and powers for budgetary allocation, the affidavit said.
The Supreme Court had on July 10 sought CBI's views on the government affidavit which proposed to enhance the powers of the investigative agency. The apex court suggested two ways to deal with the matter. It said either Parliament can make a law on CBI autonomy or the apex court can make ad hoc arrangements.
A Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram had earlier in the month submitted an affidavit on CBI autonomy to the Supreme Court. The affidavit contained proposals by the GoM to grant greater autonomy to the CBI.
The group was formed on the Supreme Court's orders. Indicting the government for its interference in the agency's functioning, the court had directed the government to come up with proposals for greater autonomy to the CBI till July 3.
The Cabinet had in June approved a recommendation by a Parliamentary panel that the CBI director should be selected by a collegium comprising of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.