A week after the Supreme Court struck down the provision of seeking approval of the government before initiating any case against officers of the rank of joint secretaries or above, the CBI issued fresh guidelines asking its officers to take permission of the Additional Director or above before beginning investigation against any senior officer.
In a notification, the CBI said “those found guilty of abusing their authority will be dealt with severely”.
According to the circular, any inquiry against a joint secretary or above officer will have to be approved by a competent authority; either an Additional Director, a Special Director or the CBI Director.
It said in case of a complaint in any CBI office against a Union minister, it shall be forwarded to the Home Ministry for further action and the file should remain in the personal custody of head of the branch.
No complaint against any such officer will be handed over to a CBI officer below the rank of SP, the guidelines said. The SP should ensure that departmental records are examined discreetly so secrecy of the verification is maintained, the guidelines said and advised to consult the records informally by contacting the concerned Vigilance officers or the Head of the Department.
During the course of verification of the complaint, a written requisition for record should normally be avoided but wherever necessary, such requisition must go under the signature of the Head of the Branch only and never of the Verification Officer, failing which concerned unit heads would be held responsible.