The Madras High Court has issued a series of directions to the Centre for releasing the “caged parrot”, or ensuring autonomy to the CBI. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation to transfer a case of cheating by a finance company probed by Tamil Nadu Police to the central agency, the court’s Madurai bench on Tuesday said: “Only when the CBI is given a statutory status, (would) the autonomy of CBI would be ensured. Second, it should have a dedicated cadre of officers on its own without getting the officials on deputation.
“The CBI should have an autonomy as that of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who is only accountable to Parliament.”
The court also said the CBI Director should be vested with ex-officio powers of the Secretary to the Government of India, reporting directly to the Ministry without having to go through the Dept of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Pointing out the Supreme Court and the High Courts entrust the CBI with investigation of cases without the consent of the states, the court ordered the Centre consider and take a decision for enactment of a separate Act giving statutory status with more powers and jurisdiction to the CBI at the earliest.
It sought CBI shall be made more independent like the Election Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and a separate budgetary allocation shall be made for the agency.
The CBI Director shall be given powers as that of the secretary to the Govt and shall directly report to the Minister/PM without going through the DoPT, the Centre shall make the CBI independent with functional autonomy without administrative control of the government, the CFSL shall have more modern facilities and should be augmented on par with the facilities available to the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the UK’s Scotland Yard, it added, asking DoPT to pass orders on CBI restructuring letter dated Sep 9, 2020 after consulting with other depts, if necessary, within 6 weeks from the date of receipt of the order.
Supreme Court | File Photo
Challenge to Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Delhi top cop
NEW DELHI: Even as the Supreme Court is yet to dispose of the petitions of city lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma and NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation against the appointment of controversial 1984 batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner 3 days before his retirement,, another petition came up before Delhi HC on Wednesday but a careful Chief Justice DN Patel wanted to ensure the issue is not pending before any other court and posted the matter for Monday.
He asked a straight question: “Is any such matter pending?”
A Bench, which also comprised Justice Jyoti Singh, did not go by the word of additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma that to his knowledge, no such challenge was pending before any other court as of now and the Centre’s standing counsel Amit Mahajan also endorsed him, saying the department was not aware of it. It asked the counsel to take instructions and fixed hearing on Monday on the petition of Sadre Alam. His lawyer BS Bagga pressed for at least a notice be issued, but the court refused. ASG Sharma submitted it had become a business for “so-called-integrity-keepers” to challenge any appointment made by the authorities. He said Sadre Alam had no locus to challenge Asthana’s appointment. —Our Bureau
Defamation against Aroon Purie stayed
New Delhi: The SC on Wednesday stayed the criminal defamation proceedings against India Today group founder Aroon Purie. A bench headed by CJI Ramana and comprising justices Surya Kant and Justice Aniruddha Bose issued notice on the plea by Purie challenging the Delhi HC order refusing to quash the defamation case against him, and also issued an interim order of stay. “Notice and interim stay”, said the bench.
Bundi judge gets threat to life
Kota: A district and sessions court judge in Rajasthan’s Bundi received a life threat, following which his security was beefed up, police said. The life threat has come in the wake of an incident in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, in which a judge was mowed down by a vehicle last month.
Bundi district and sessions court judge Sudhir Parik on August 10 received a letter, threatening he will be killed. The judge lodged a complaint in this regard on August 11. As per FIR by the judge, the letter in Hindi says, “Judge Sahab, we will kill you on September 13.” “Save yourself if you can but you won’t be able to do so,” says the letter according to the police complaint.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)