New Delhi: Vineet Narain, the central protagonist in a landmark judgment that set the precedent for appointment of the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), claims that the language used by the Centre in its order last week appointing Subodh Kumar Jaiswal to the post is a violation of the Supreme Court directive.
In its order issued on May 25, the appointments committee of cabinet (ACC) stated that it has approved the appointment of 1985 batch IPS officer, Jaiswal, as Director, CBI for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Narain told Hindustan Times that the last line of this order is in violation of the Supreme Court order as it leaves a window open for government to make changes.
Such language (especially the part “… until further orders…” ) was never used in appointment of previous CBI directors, including Rishi Kumar Shukla and Alok Verma .
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) declined comment on the matter.
“Neither in the SC directive nor the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) act, it is mentioned anywhere that the two-year tenure can be altered. The SC judgment in Vineet Narain & Others Vs Union of India was to insulate the CBI Director from any executive interference but this kind of language shows some ulterior motive,” Narain said.
“This is absolutely contemptuous of the apex court’s decision and Hon’ble Chief Justice of India (N V Ramana) should take cognizance of the matter.”
“These public interest cases are for making our institutions accountable. This (Vineet Narain & Others Vs Union of India judgment) was a long-drawn battle to bring some autonomy to the Chief Vigilance Commission and the CBI, including the selection process and the tenure. If any government tries to tamper with that, it is clear that government’s intentions are not to adhere to two-year fixed tenure and they want to make changes,” Narain added.