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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Secy rank to CBI chief not possible: Centre to tell SC

CBI has been repeatedly complaining that its functioning was affected due to bureaucrats.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: October 29, 2013 5:55:15 am

Over a month after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to consider granting Union secretary-level rank to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director in order to take him out of bureaucratic control,the government has decided to inform the court about the reasons why such a decision can’t be taken.

Sources told The Indian Express that when the matter concerning autonomy for the probe agency,referred to as “caged parrot” of the

government,comes up for hearing Tuesday,the law officer appearing for the Centre could inform the court that granting secretary-level rank to the CBI director may not be feasible.

On September 10,a Bench of Justices R M Lodha,Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had noted,“He (director) must be given the rank of a secretary in the central government so as to obviate bureaucratic set-up and so that all his communications are directly sent to the minister concerned.”

The CBI has been repeatedly complaining to the court that its functioning was adversely affected due to “stranglehold” of bureaucrats on it.

The CBI has also told the court that while the director enjoys the same pay and perks as a secretary to the Government of India,in reality he is not of the same rank. The agency has also,in the past,requested the government to grant secretary rank to its director. However,the government has steadfastly refused to do this.

Sources said the government is also likely to spell out before the court the reasons why the director can’t be given secretary rank.”

“Many other senior officers such as director,Intelligence Bureau,director-general of CRPF,are equal in status to the CBI director. It will cause many administrative problems if the CBI director is given the secretary rank. We have instructed our lawyers to explain the position to the court,” said a senior government functionary.

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