Significantly, this high level selection committee consists of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of the country and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Earlier on March 12, the Supreme Court had asked the Central Government to respond to a petition filed by the CBI’s regular director. This writ petition was filed by an NGO named Common Cause, for which Prashant Bhushan had appeared as a lawyer. Hearing this, the Supreme Court Justices L Nageswara Rao and Justice S Ravindra Bhat had sent a notice to the Center asking them to respond.
Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of the petitioner, said that the functioning of the agency is being affected without a regular director. He wanted an early hearing on this, but the Supreme Court had then given two weeks time for the hearing. The petition by the Common Cause states that the government has failed to appoint CBI Director after February 2, 2021, replacing Rishi Kumar Shukla under section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. In this, it was also questioned that instead of reinstating the regular director, the government appointed Praveen Sinha as interim / executive CBI director on 3 February.
The petition also states that this prestigious investigating agency should operate independently of the interference of executive or political power and hence a high-level committee has been set up for its appointment. The petition has also demanded from the Supreme Court that it should direct it to formulate a process so that the appointment process is completed in one or two months before the CBI director’s retirement.