Accusing the government of trying to short-circuit the recommendations of a Parliamentary panel on the Lokpal bill to select the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, the BJP has written to the Prime Minister asking him to put in abeyance the new CBI chief's appointment.
The leaders of opposition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely, have written the Prime Minister, objecting to the appointment. They say that the select panel has recommended the CBI director be chosen by a collegium, that includes the PM as well as leaders of opposition among others. (Read Jaitley, Swaraj's letter to the PM
Currently the appointment is an administrative decision taken by a Cabinet committee, which has no Opposition representation.
The new chief was named just hours before the panel's recommendations were tabled in Rajya Sabha. The Lokpal is not yet an act of Parliament, since it has to be passed by it after the government tables a final version.
The government said that the decision to appoint the CBI director was the PM's and he chose the Ranjit Sinha from three eligible candidates. "The PM has the authority to decide, and he has (made the appointment) in his wisdom," minister of state in the Prime Minister's office V Narayansamy said.
The Congress too defended the decision. "It is not known when the Lokpal bill will be passed, it could take months," party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said. "Appointments can't be kept on hold for this." He also said that the BJP was "polticising" every post in government.
The Lokpal bill has yet to be debated and voted on in Lok Sabha and there are several parties that are opposed it in some form or the other.
Ranjit Sinha, a 1974-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Bihar cadre and current Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Force, has been named by the government as the next director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Mr Sinha will take charge from Amar Pratap Singh, who retires on November 30.