New Delhi, July 14 :
The NDA government Monday defended in the apex court the appointment of senior IPS officer Archana Ramasundram as CBI’s additional director by the previous UPA government which had overruled a selection panel which recommended another officer’s name.
The selection committee, comprising the chief vigilance commissioner, other two vigilance commissioners, the union home ministry and personal and training department secretaries and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, had recommended the the lone name of IPS officer R.K.Pachananda.
Defending the decision to appoint Ramasundram, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court bench of Chief Justice R.M.Lodha, Justice C.K.Prasad and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman that Pachnanda has moved an application accepting the appointment of Ramasundram, referring to media reports to that effect.
As the counsel for the Tamil Nadu government said that Ramasundram joined the CBI without prior permission of the state government, Rohatgi told the court that “the government of India had directed her to join”.
He told the court that Ramasundram had an “outstanding” service record.
The court was hearing a plea by journalist and anti-corruption activist Vineet Narain who has contended that Ramasundram’s appointment was in breach of statutory provisions and the judgment of the apex court in Vineet Narain case.
Extending its earlier order restraining Ramasundram from functioning in the CBI post, the court issued notice to the central government and her on the application of the Tamil Nadu government, which informed the court that she has been placed under suspension and adjourned the hearing till July 21.
As Rohatgi defended Ramasundram’s appointment, the court said that Tamil Nadu government is saying that she joined her new posting without being released by the state government and the same was in breach of statutory provisions.
“Now we are being informed by Tamil Nadu government that she has joined without (its) permission and that is impermissible. What they tell, they may be right or wrong,” the court observed.
In the course of the rival submissions, senior counsel Amarendra Saran, appearing for Ramasundram, told the court that she had acted as per the orders of the ventral government.
Meanwhile, the court did not allow an impleadment application by Pachananda who was objecting to certain paragraphs in the CBI response which were critical of him.
The court told senior counsel Meenakshi Arora appearing for Pachnanda that no impleadment application would allowed in the matter and she could move an application seeking the expunging of these remarks.
The court told Arora that if a statement has been made against someone and that person is not before the court, the adverse statement stands automatically ignored.
Pachnanda said that he has moved an application seeking impleadment “only to protect his rights and his reputation”, airing his apprehension that the government while defending the appointment of Ramasundram may not present a correct picture about his service record.
Narain has contended that the appointment of Ramasundram was arbitrary as it was in disregard to the laid-down procedure under the Central Vigilance Commission Act and Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
He said the revised Jan Lokpal Act reiterated the selection process.