Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday rejected outright BJP’s charge that new CBI Director Ranjit Sinha’s appointment was made to preempt the procedure recommended by the Select Committee on Lokpal Bill. He called the charge unwarranted and without any merit.
Earlier in the day, accusing the government of trying to bypass the recommendations of the Select Committee to appoint the CBI director, the BJP had written to Manmohan Singh asking him to put in abeyance Sinha’s appointment. The BJP believes that the new director should be appointed only by a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
The PM, however, turned down the request and said the CBI can’t be left without an administrative head pending the enactment and said, “under the circumstances the government has, in public interest, made the appointment in accordance with the provisions of the CVC Act as presently applicable and the extant procedures, which had been set in motion much earlier”.
In a letter to the PM, Leader of Opposition in LS, Sushma Swaraj, and her RS counterpart, Arun Jaitley, had said the present CBI director’s appointment was done “in a manner which showed that the government wanted to preempt the possibility of his appointment through the collegium recommendation”.