More teeth to CBI: Ranjit Sinha, AAP welcome top court decision

CBI on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the provision of seeking mandatory prior approval to probe against officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above, saying a number of cases will be expedited following the judgement.

Terming it as a ‘landmark’ judgement in criminal justice system, CBI said it added additional responsibilities on the probe agency so that ‘due diligence’ is done before examining any official of the rank of joint secretary and above.

‘We welcome this decision. This matter was pending before the Supreme Court and finally a decision came on Tuesday. This decision will go a long way in finalising several cases pending before us,’ CBI director Ranjit Sinha said here.

He said more responsibilities have been put on CBI following the judgement to ensure no innocent is subjected to this provision. ‘We will be strengthening our already existing mechanism and due diligence will be done before questioning any senior officer. This decision will be taken only at an officer of the rank of Joint Director or above in CBI,’ Sinha said. While he refused to provide details about the cases that could be expedited, sources in the agency said it would help in over a dozen cases which include a senior official of the Delhi Police, Inspector General of RPF and a senior Finance Ministry official.

Meanwhile, hailing the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said, ‘This provision was introduced in 2003 in the CBI and CVC Acts by the NDA government even after the Supreme Court had declared the same ‘Single Directive’ as unconstitutional in the Hawala case in 1999. Both the NDA and the UPA governments had taken advantage of this absurd provision to protect senior Babus who were involved in corruption along with the ministers themselves who in brazen conflicts of interest then denied permission for even investigating their Babus.’

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