Millennium Post

CBI files affidavit in SC on autonomy

The CBI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that its director should be given a minimum three-year term instead of two with a rank equal to a secretary and sought more financial autonomy, while rejecting Centre’s proposal for an accountability panel for it.

Contending that administrative and financial powers of the CBI director are ‘limited’, the agency in its 14-page affidavit said more is needed to be done than what has been proposed by the Centre to ensure autonomy and insulate it from extraneous influences.

The agency submitted that its director be vested with ex-officio powers of secretary for reporting directly to the minister without having to go through the department of personnel and training (DoPT).

It opposed Centre’s move to set up an accountability commission to inquire into allegations of misbehaviour, impropriety or irregularities of its officials.

In its response to Centre’s proposal on the autonomy issue, the CBI stressed that minimum tenure for its director should be three years against two years proposed by the government and said that more power be given to him to make the agency ‘discharge its core function without fear or favour’.

‘In the present arrangement, administrative, disciplinary and financial powers of the Director are limited and this impinges on his ability to ensure expeditious and compete investigation and high ethical standard among his subordinates.

‘As such, it is necessary that the director should be vested with ex-officio powers of secretary of government of India reporting directly to the minister without having to go through the DoPT. This will also mean that the budget for the CBI may be separately put up through minister to the department of expenditure,’ the affidavit said.

The agency said that under this system the director would be independent of the ministry as far as investigation is concerned and would continue to be accountable to the minister for administrative and financial matters.

‘A director who is free to take routine administrative and financial decisions within prescribed rules is necessary for the CBI to remain insulated to discharge its core function without fear or favour,’ the agency said.

CBI said there is an internal mechanism to deal with its errant officers and turned down Centre’s proposal to set up accountability commission saying that it would create an ‘anomalous situation’.
Next Story
Share it