The Supreme Court today restrained senior IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram from discharging her duty as Additional Director in CBI, saying that her appointment "prima facie" seems to be illegal and against the statute.
A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha questioned the Centre's decision to appoint her as her name was not recommended by the selection committee. "Once the committee decides you should give effect to it. This is the law and you have to carry out the law. It amounts to nullifying the statute. She cannot be permitted to work," it observed. The court said that government cannot "superimpose" its decision on the appointment of the officer in CBI.
In the meantime, senior advocate Ashok Kumar Ganguly, appearing for the officer, submitted that she has already joined CBI. "We are informed by A K Ganguly that Ramasundaram has already joined as Additional Director as per the Centre's May 7 order. Having considered the statutory provision of the DSPE Act with regard to appointment of officers above SP rank, we find that the petitioner has made strong prima facie case that she was not recommended by the selection committee.
"In the circumstance, we do not find it justifiable for Ramasundaram to continue to function as Additional Director of CBI for the time being. We accordingly restrain the respondent (CBI) from allowing Ramasundaram to function as Additionl Director till next date of hearing," the bench said in its order.
Ramasundram, a 1980 batch officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, had served in the CBI as Deputy Inspector-General and later as its first woman Joint Director and handled various cases pertaining to Economic Offences between 1999 and 2006.