Apex court frowns on CBI vacancies

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the seriousness of the government in pursuing corruption cases after noting that almost 50 per cent posts in CBI at senior officer level were lying vacant.

A bench also asked why no new posts were sanctioned in the premier probe agency.

“Is the government concerned that corruption cases should be solved at the earliest? Why posts were not sanctioned? We want to know if the government is serious in pursuing corruption cases,” the Bench asked the government counsel. The court posed its queries after being told that there were 55 sanctioned posts for IPS officers at SP (superintendent of police) level which have been reduced to 45 as a result of diversion of 10 SP level posts to DIG level while 27 IPS officers were in position and 18 posts were lying vacant.

The Union Home Secretary, in an affidavit, said: “At present, there are no IPS officers of the level SP available on the offer list for deputation to any organisation. As per recruitment rules, 60 per cent of the vacancies to the rank of SPs are to be filled up by deputation and 40 per cent by promotion.” Calling the affidavit as “vague”, the Bench noted that a letter was written by the prime minister in this regard on July 24, 2009 to the chief ministers of different states but nothing substantial was done.

The court was hearing a case relating to the multi-thousand crore high-speed diesel scam in which oil marketing companies, in alleged collusion with sales tax department staff diverted subsidised fuel in the open market.

In 1999, the scam was reported to have caused losses worth Rs 1,000 crore. Now, after investigation, it has come to only Rs 100 crore, the court noted, posting the matter for further hearing for Thursday.

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