An NGO has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to immediately appoint a regular CBI director.
The petition, filed by NGO Common Cause, contended that a proper appointment as per the statutory law is necessary for upholding the rule of law and for enforcement of the rights of the citizens under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
The NGO argued that the CBI director is the final authority in the organization. “Hence, this Hon’ble Court and later on Parliament have made determined efforts to enhance the functional autonomy of the CBI Director and limit the extent of executive discretion in the matter of appointment of this key functionary”, said the plea filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan.
The NGO argued that the government has failed to appoint a regular CBI director as per section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, on the expiry of the term of Rishi Kumar Shukla on February 2 and instead appointed Praveen Sinha as an interim director.
The plea argued that the top court has time and again entrusted important cases of corruption and violation of human rights to the CBI for investigation. The CBI has, sometimes under the monitoring of the top court, investigated important cases involving powerful and influential individuals.
The plea urged the top court to issue a direction to the Centre to initiate and complete the process of selection of the CBI Director well in advance, at least 1 to 2 months before the date on which the vacancy in the post of CBI Director is about to occur in future.
“DGPs are the heads of police force in states and CBI is the premier central investigating agency. Both the DGPs as well as the CBI director have a minimum tenure of two years, as per the existing law of the land,” said the plea.
The Petitioner submitted that the government must be directed to comply with the mandate of the law and call for the meeting of the selection committee as per the DSPE Act, 1946 as amended by the Lokpal Act, 2013. “The ad hoc appointment of Praveen Sinha as the Interim/Acting CBI Director deserves to be set aside”, added the plea.