DoPT controlling day to day affairs of the CBI adversely affects the efficacy and independence of its functioning, the agency told the Supreme Court on Monday, while insisting on ex-officio power of secretary to its director to reduce bureaucratic layers of scrutiny. The agency contended before the apex court that there is no rule which says that the department of personnel and training (DoPT) shall control the CBI’s day to day affairs despite being attached to the department, and sought power for operational autonomy.
In an affidavit filed by its advocate Amit Anand Tiwari in connection with the coalgate scam, the agency said, “The sole purpose of the CBI in seeking powers beyond what has been granted to it presently, is to make its director more empowered to enforce and ensure more professional, efficient, expeditious and impartial conduct of CBI investigations”.
“Even if CBI is an attached office with the DoPT, nowhere is it provided in the relevant rules that the DoPT shall control the day to day affairs of CBI, thereby adversely affecting the efficacy and independence of investigations and prosecution being carried out by the CBI,” the affidavit said.
“That CBI is admittedly not a wing under the DoPT and the CBI’s proposal of its director directly reporting to the minister of DoPT is appropriate as it would remove the present anomaly of CBI despite not being a wing of DoPT, is still controlled by the DoPT with secretary of DoPT being the reporting authority for the director,” it said.
The agency said CBI never intended to take itself out of the purview of the executive control, but there were many instances where lack of adequate administrative and financial powers had resulted in the investigation suffering inordinate and avoidable delays.
“...in the present arrangement, the administrative, disciplinary and financial powers of the CBI director, are limited and this impinges on his ability to ensure expeditious, complete and independent investigation and high ethical standards among his sub-ordinates,” it said.