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Listing measures to insulate the CBI from "external influences and intrusion", the Centre told the Supreme Court Wednesday that the CBI director would be appointed on the recommendation of a three-member panel — headed by the Prime Minister and including the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or a nominated judge — for a period of "not less than two years".
The government, in its affidavit, said the CBI director shall not be transferred without the consent of this selection committee. It also proposed that only the President would have the authority to remove or suspend the director, on a reference by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of his "misbehaviour or incapacity".
The affidavit, which will be considered by the SC on July 10, said while the CVC would have the power of superintendence and administration over the CBI for cases to be probed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Centre would be vested with the power in other matters.
While the Cabinet-approved amendments have not changed the minimum tenure guarantee for the CBI director — the 2003 CVC Act also assured a minimum stint of two years — the appointment procedure is set to see a major concession. The practice so far has been to appoint the director on the recommendation of a committee comprising the CVC, vigilance commissioners, MHA secretary in-charge, and secretary, coordination and public grievances. This committee has to take into consideration the views of the outgoing director and then recommend a panel of eligible IPS officers for appointment.
As per the suggested amendments to the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, the Centre has sought to do away with the requirement to seek the outgoing director's views, and also wants the selection committee to recommend only one officer.