In a new twist to the controversy surrounding appointment of a woman IPS officer as the first woman additional director of the CBI, the Supreme Court today restrained Archana Ramasundaram from functioning on the elevated post
till its further orders.
A bench led by Chief Justice R M Lodha asked the Centre to produce all the records relating to her postings and selection by July 14.
The court clarified irrespective of whether she has joined the duty or not, Ramasundaram shall not function as the additional director.
The court also made CBI Director Ranjit Sinha a party to the case and issued him a notice as well.
Hours after she had joined as additional director, the Tamil Nadu cadre senior IPS officer was suspended by the state government on Thursday, allegedly for failing to obtain official consent.
“During the period that this order shall remain in force, the headquarters of Archana Ramasundaram, IPS, shall be Chennai,” said the order issued by Chief Secretary Mohan Verghese Chunkath. But CBI director Ranjit Sinha said, “The additional director has joined today. The state government’s order is infructuous.”
A 1980-batch officer, Ramasundaram was with the CBI from 1999-2006. A director general rank officer now, she is posted as chairperson of the TN Uniformed Services Recruitment Board since 2012.
Sinha had recommended Ramasundaram, and her name was cleared by the appointments committee headed by PM Manmohan Singh. Though the decision was conveyed in February, the state government did not take any action so far.
On Thursday, hours after she joined the CBI, the state government exercised its powers under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, to order her suspension with “immediate effect”.
Ramasundaram’s husband, IAS officer (retired) S Ramasundaram, is known to be close to the DMK. The couple returned from central deputation when the DMK won the 2006 Assembly elections.
Budget earmarked Rs 3.40 crore for the Nirbhaya Fund, to be used for the upkeep of security of women.