The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere in the functioning of the Group of Ministers examining the issue of the Central Bureau of Investigations autonomy and turned down the plea of the agency's officers for a direction to it to consider parliamentary panel reports on the CBI before making its recommendation.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra declined to hear the plea of a group of CBI cadre officers who moved the apex court to restrain the Centre from framing new rules for the appointment of officers against the recommendation of the parliamentary committees which have suggested building of a strong CBI cadre and to reduce dependence of deputation.
The judges while noting that they cannot pass such an order, said the officers can approach the bench, which is seized of the matter pertaining to filling up vacancies in the CBI after the court's vacation, for redressal of their grievance.
"We cannot pass such order of mandamus to the government. We cannot pre-empt ordinance," the bench said, adding, "Propriety says that it should come before the same bench."The officers, in their petition, have questioned the government for setting up of the GoM and not implementing the recommendations in parliamentary committee reports. They have submitted that the GoM must give them the opportunity to make representations before it.
"Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM," advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the CBI officers, said.
The petition has said, "Cadre officers have been deliberately kept away in the functioning of CBI as none of them in the last 50 years has even been appointed to any post in the organisation dealing with the administrative and policy-making decision.
"Under the garb of the direction of this court, the government which has deliberately disregarded and failed to take into consideration various reports of parliamentary standing committees, has arbitrarily set up a GoM ," it said.
The GoM was set up after the apex court had asked the government to bring a law to give the agency functional autonomy and to stop interference in its functioning. The apex court also is seized of the matter pertaining to large number of vacancies in the CBI.