Clear violation of SC verdict that requires all top CBI appointments to be cleared by CVC
New Delhi : In a clear violation of a Supreme Court verdict, which requires all top appointments in the Central Bureau of Investigation cleared by the Central Vigilance Commission, the Prime Minister’s Office last week appointed Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram to fill the long- pending vacancy of the additional director.
The government was accused of trying to post a sympathetic officer to a top post in the CBI ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
CVC Pradeep Kumar was surprised as the government not only rejected the name of West Bengal cadre IPS officer R K Pachnanda for the post but it also did not get back to the CVC to seek another name.
Archana was not at all recommended by the CVC and as such he dashed off a polite note to the Department of Personnel and Training on Monday for its ” irregular order appointing her without its advice.
The Department of Personnel and Training, which had sent the recommendation for Pachnanda for clearance by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet ( ACC), followed the order received from the PMO as the department also comes under the administrative control of the Prime Minister.
The CBI is answerable to the CVC. It reports to the DoPT only on administrative matters. Pradeep Kumar refused to take calls but sources close to him said: ” The ACC is within its right to reject, but with reasons to be given in writing with a request to suggest another candidate. In this case the DoPT, without coming to us, again appointed Archana Ramasundram on its own. This is a clear violation of the CVC Act. We will raise our objections with the competent authority on this.” Not taking the blame, Minister of State V Narayanasamy, who handles DoPT, said, ” It’s not my personal decision. Name decided by the ACC.” The BJP was quick to taunt that the CBI has always been a ” Congress Bureau of Investigation.” Its former president demanded that the appointment of the additional director be scrapped. Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman accused the government of appointing its own people in the agency in view of the upcoming general elections. ” It shows how the government functions in complete disregard to rules of appointments in the CBI,” she said.
The UPA government at the Centre had to face a lot of criticism for appointing PJ Thomas as the CVC in 2011. His appointment was cancelled by the Supreme Court later.