New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, has appealed to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to enter the name of the officers in the Supreme Court registry.

Confirming the deployment of his officers, CBI director Rishi Kumar Shukla, said: “the SC has asked us to send officers on deputation”.

However, Shukla refused to give away details on the number of officers, and of which rank, are likely to be deputed at the top court by the premier investigating agency.

An official familiar to the development said the CJI has asked for officers of the rank of superintendent of police (SP), senior superintendent of police (SSP), and even inspectors, who will be tasked to monitor activities within the registry, to ensure that there is no preference shown in the listing of cases and employees do not leak information to lawyers, and perhaps even verify the credentials of employees who are posted in the registry.

A senior Supreme Court registry official who spoke on condition of anonymity, told media that the CBI officers won't have any role in keeping an eye on activities of the registry.

 “They will act only as liaison officers with other agencies for verification of credentials of new people appointed in the court. Under the present system, verification is done only at the local police station level, and we do not know about cases the prospective employee could have in other police stations or states. Now, there will be a more in-depth enquiry.”

This is the first time CBI officers will be deployed in the Supreme Court.

Legally, CBI has the power to investigate all forms of corruption across the country. However, it is no position to probe anything related to the higher judiciary without the approval of the Supreme Court itself.

With the CJI himself asking the investigating agency to deploy its officers, it will be interesting to see if the CBI can now register cases automatically upon witnessing an aberration, said the first official.

A former CBI director who didn’t wish to be named, said: “This is happening for the first time in the history of CBI and the Supreme Court. According to the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, CBI’s mandate is not to be on deputation to any other department. But since it’s the CJI who has asked the CBI to deploy officers, the act won’t matter and the agency is, after all, mandated to investigate on the orders/requests of the Supreme Court”.

Recently, the CJI dismissed two staff of the court over alleged favouritism. They changed the order in a case related to a businessman.
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