CBI today sought directions from the Supreme Court including the grant of status of a Secretary of central government for its Director to ensure its functional efficacy in conducting expeditious and independent investigation.
In brief submissions filed in the apex court before an important hearing on August 29 in the Coal blocks allocation scam, gate, the agency suggested changes in the "administrative arrangements" to ensure its effective functioning.
"The Director CBI is already in the grade and pay scale of Secretary to Government of India (GoI) and therefore, granting of this status to the Director, CBI, will ensure functional efficacy to CBI to enable it to conduct independent and expeditious investigations," the plea said, adding the status would enable the CBI chief to deal directly with the Minister of Personnel.
The status of Secretary would enable the CBI Director to "expeditiously" pursue disciplinary matters against delinquent Group A officers with the concerned ministry and the Prime Minister and would cut down avoidable delays.
It said the Centre's proposal to grant financial powers to the Director CBI as equivalent to the Director General, CRPF, would "partially" address the concerns and needs of CBI.
"CBI has unique requirements linked to its work that still remain unattended. For example, powers for engagement of qualified professionals like CAs, engineers... are still limited...," it said.
"The financial and administrative powers are essential for the efficiency of the functioning of CBI by cutting the red tape and consequent delays in its day-to-day functioning," the written submission said.
The issue of CBI's functional autonomy came to the fore after the Supreme Court had, in one of the hearings in the Coalgate scam, dubbed the agency as a "caged parrot" and asked the Centre to take steps to insulate it from external influences.