The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the central government challenging the appointment of woman IPS officer Archana Ramasundram as additional director of the CBI, disregarding the recommendation of the selection committee.
A bench of Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph issued notice to the central government and others on a plea by journalist and anti-corruption activist Vineet Narain who contended that Ramasundram's appointment was in breach of statutory provisions and the apex court judgment in the Vineet Narain case.
Notice that is returnable by May 9 has also been issued to the Central Vigilance Commision, the secretaries of the home ministry and personnel and training ministry and Ramasundram.
Narain said the appointment of Ramasundram, an Indian Police Service officer, 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.
Appearing for Narain, counsel KK Venugopal said Ramasundram was appointed to the CBI additional director's post, overlooking the selection committee's recommendation of R.K. Pachnanda.
Meeting the contention from the government circles that the Selection Committee recommended just one name and did not give a panel of names to choose from, Venugopal said that there was no rule that says that it (the committee) could not recommend a lone name.
The selection committee compriosing the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, three other members of the CVC, home secretary, personnel and training secretary and CBI director as a special invitee had recommended the name of Pachnanda but the government chose to ignore it opted for Ramasundram to fill the slot.