The central government has opposed the public interest litigation (PIL) by retired ACP challenging the appointment of Subodh Jaiswal as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stating that it was “devoid of merits and made on assumptions”.
An affidavit was filed by Sanjay Kumar Chaurasia, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Personnel in response to PIL by retired ACP Rajendrakumar Trivedi seeking Jaiswal’s removal on the ground that he does not possess experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases and has doubtful credibility. The PIL also questioned Jaiswal's credibility when he was heading a special investigation committee for investigating the scam of fake and counterfeit stamps involving Abdul Karim Telgi and several police officials.
The central government affidavit states that the contentions raised in the petition “are devoid of merits and made on assumptions and does not require consideration of the Court as it does not bear any virtue of facts, hence required to be dismissed without any direction at very outsets.”
Highlighting the legal provision followed by it to appoint a CBI director, the affidavit contends that the committee overlooking the appointment considers “all the relevant factors, keeping in view their overall suitability based on seniority, integrity, experience in investigation, and anti-corruption work, recommends a panel of names, in order of seniority for the post of Director, CBI.”
The affidavit also rebuts the allegations of Jaiswal not having worked with the anti-corruption bureau. It reads that a Superintendent of Police of a district is empowered to register and investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act) and the same is a part of his normal duties. “Nothing additional other than extant laws, rules and procedures are required to investigate or supervise anti-corruption cases,” it said.
Jaiswal was SP of three districts, Commissioner of Police of Mumbai and Director General of Police of Maharashtra. “Therefore, it is erroneously averred that Jaiswal does not have any experience in investigating and supervising anti-corruption cases,” contends the affidavit.
Further, the anti-corruption cases are not limited to the PC Act, but also include economic offences, white collar crimes, corporate crimes, vigilance matters and so on, adds the affidavit. Also, Trivedi has misconstrued the provision of the PC Act where there is no requirement of any specialised wing of the investigating agency to investigate under the said Act. The provisions under the CP Act give power to the State police for investigating offences under the said Act and therefore it is a part of the routine mandate of the State police also.