Hold appointment of CBI chief: BJP to PM

Hold appointment of CBI chief
The BJP Friday demanded that the appointment of the new CBI director be put on hold until Parliament passes the Lokpal Bill. The principal opposition party alleged that the government had rushed the appointment in order to "pre-empt" a "unanimous" recommendation made by the select committee on the Bill, seeking to dilute the role of the government in the appointment process.

The committee's report was tabled in Parliament on Friday, a day after the government announced that ITBP D-G Ranjit Sinha, an IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, will be CBI chief after A P Singh retires on November 30.

"The manner in which the government has made this appointment hours before the tabling of this recommendation in the Rajya Sabha persuades us to the conclusion that the government wanted to pre-empt the possibility of this recommendation, at least in the present appointment," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in a letter sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Swaraj and Jaitley asked the Prime Minister to "revisit" the appointment, and wait until Parliament had cleared the Lokpal Bill.

"We must record our strong disappointment and disapproval of this act of the government," the letter said. "We would request you to revisit this matter and keep this appointment in abeyance till such time this recommendation becomes a law of the land. Hopefully, this can happen in the next few days."

Reacting to the allegations, Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said the selection had been done "in a fair manner following the due process".

Narayanasamy, who was speaking on the sidelines of a CBI function, said, "The Prime Minister in his wisdom considered Ranjit Sinha being seniormost 1974 batch officer... the Prime Minister decided the name of Ranjit Sinha in a fair manner following the due process in which CVC recommended three names... Where is the question of unfairness in this?"

Swaraj and Jaitley pointed out that the select committee has recommended that the "Director of the CBI will be appointed by a collegium" comprising the PM, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India. They stressed that the recommendation had been made "unanimously", and therefore likely to be "part of the law, which will be legislated very soon".

The unanimity, the BJP leaders said, indicated a national desire to take the "power away from the government of the day alone to appoint the CBI director", because "empirical evidence shows that these appointments were motivated by collateral considerations".

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