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CBI may request SC for review of agency’s selection procedure

CBI may request SC for review of agency’s selection procedure
The Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) will soon submit a request to the Supreme Court to review the selection procedure for senior-level appointments in the probe agency in its response to a notice in a case relating to a woman IPS officer being picked as its additional director. ‘We will be submitting our reply soon in response to a petition filed before the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of one lady IPS officer as Additional Director,’ CBI director Ranjit Sinha said here.

CBI was made a party by the Supreme Court in response to a PIL filed by journalist Vineet Narain who claimed the selection process of the additional director had been vitiated with the government appointing Archana Ramasundaram, a 1980 IPS batch officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, as additional director in the agency.

However, CBI may mention in its petition that all clauses laid down by the Supreme Court, including seniority and integrity clause, were followed in appointing Ramasundaram.

The CBI Director said the larger picture was about the selection procedure. ‘The views of a captain for selection of his team should at least be taken,’ Sinha said.

‘The main legal issues involved is constitution of CVC Board for appointments in CBI and the role of the director,’ he said.

CBI would request the Supreme Court to review the selection procedure for officers at Additional Director and Special Director level in the agency. The CBI Director is only a special invitee in these appointments and his observations are not recorded.

Ramasundaram, who joined CBI on 8 May, has been restrained by the Supreme Court from carrying out the functions of additional director until 14 July when the apex court hears the matter again. 
However, the court had clarified that the interim order shall not be construed as a reflection on the competence or merits of the officer in any manner whatsoever.

The Supreme Court bench had, in its observation, however, said it has become necessary in view of strong prima facie case made out with regard to legal flaw in the selection.
In view of the sensitivity of these posts, the sources said CBI will also tell the apex court that officers of the rank of Additional and Special Director should be appointed in consent with the Director as all of them have to work as a team.

The court will also hear Ramasundaram’s nine-page reply challenging the maintainability of the PIL in which she had said the petition lacked any public interest as it was based on media reports. Ramasundaram had been selected for the post on 7 February, 2014 by the previous UPA government which was done after getting clearance from Tamil Nadu government in October last year.

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