After ignoring warnings, govt rushes to undo HC's CBI order
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Two days after the Gauhati High Court declared that the CBI had no legal standing and was, therefore, unconstitutional, the Centre Friday announced it would appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court.
However, even as the government went into damage control mode to take steps to undo the controversial November 6 judgment of the high court, it has emerged that the government's legal experts had warned it about the issue.
"I have not studied the judgment so far. But, I have been told that the DoPT intends to file an appeal in the Supreme Court," Law Minister Kapil Sibal said.
Minister of State for Personnel, V Narayanasamy, also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the fallout of the verdict and inform him about the steps being taken to deal with it.
Sources said Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati has been asked to personally supervise the SLP filing and also seek stay of the HC judgment. Worried about the immediate impact of the judgment, the government is trying to file the petition Saturday itself.
Sources in the law and justice ministry told The Indian Express that during discussions on the proposed CBI Bill, 2010, which is waiting to be made a law, it was pointed out to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that the CBI's position as an investigative agency "could be questioned".
"During our meetings, we told the DoPT that one reason why the CBI should get its own Act is to provide it with some standing in law. But, it is for the DoPT, which is the administrative ministry in charge of CBI, to get the Bill passed in Parliament," said a senior law ministry functionary.
At present, the CBI draws its formation and strength from the resolution issued by the home ministry on April 1, 1963. In fact, this finds mention in the HC judgment, with the court ruling that the CBI is neither an organ nor a part of the DSPE and the CBI cannot be treated as a police force constituted under the DSPE Act, 1946.
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