The CBI on Tuesday sought a longer tenure and more administrative and financial powers for its director, for the agency to “discharge its core function without fear or favour”.
“A director who is dependent on ministry for routine administrative and financial approvals is not best placed to take independent and objective decisions in crunch situation,” said the agency in its 14-page affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court. The SC will take up the matter on Wednesday.
The agency was responding to an SC order to place its viewpoint regarding the Centre’s proposal on the autonomy issue.
The CBI told the SC that its director should be given a minimum three-year term, instead of two, with a rank equal to a secretary and should report to the minister without having to go through the DoPT.
The agency has also opposed the Centre’s proposal to constitute an accountability commission to look into allegations against its officials.
The CBI contended that decisions taken by the commission would undermine the position of its director as the panel could take up even those complaints that are rejected by the CBI head.
It added, “It needs to be reiterated that administrative and financial powers are essential for the efficiency of CBI and for insulating it from ministry in its day-to-day functioning.”
The agency has, however, agreed with the Centre’s proposal for the government to have the power of superintendence and administration over the CBI for all cases except those which come under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. The Central Vigilance Commission will have such power over the CBI for all cases to be probed under the PC Act.
The agency also wants the outgoing director’s opinion to be considered while appointing a new one. The director, who currently can induct only up to inspector-level officers, should have the power to induct SP level officers.
The Centre earlier told SC that it was bringing in significant changes in laws to free CBI from extraneous influences and usher in a new system of appointing its director, providing a say for apex judiciary and leader of the opposition while making his removal tougher.