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PMO violates norms to appoint its choice as CBI Additional Director

A case which can be very embarrassing for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has come out in the public. The PMO has allegedly violated the procedures to appoint an additional director of its choice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). As per rules the additional director’s name must be cleared by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

But, the PMO has not bothered to go by the CVC rules and cleared the appointment of a Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram to the post of additional director.

According to sources the CVC never recommended her name for the post. Instead it had proposed the name of an IPS officer from West Bengal cadre RK Pachnanda to the post. It has even refused to go back to the CVC.

Ignoring the recommendations of the CVC, the PMO went directly to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to clear the name of the officer of its choice.

The CBI is answerable to the CVC. It reports to the DoPT only on administrative matters.
Reacting to this the CVC sources said, “Our select committee never recommended the name of Archana Ramasundram. We gave recommendation of RK Pachnanda. The Appoints Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) got full right to reject, but reasons are to be given in writing with a request to choose another candidate. In this case the DOPT without coming to us again appointed Archana Ramasundram on its own. This is a clear violation of the CVC Act. We will raise our objections with the competent authority on this.”

The CBI sources said, “We have nothing to do with this appointment. The CBI Director is only Member Invitee. It’s the government’s decision to appoint Archana Ramasundram.”

Not taking the blame, Minister in the PMO V Narayanasamy said, “It’s not my personal decision. Name decided by the ACC.” Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth and his secretariat did not respond to the queries on this.

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