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Nov 27, 2012 at 02:55pm IST

Outgoing CBI chief favours collegium, fixed tenure for agency director

New Delhi: Amidst the raging controversy over the appointment of the new CBI director Ranjit Sinha, the outgoing chief of the investigative agency AP Singh has gone on record to state that it was actually the CBI itself that had first mooted the idea of a collegium to appoint the CBI Director. Echoing the Opposition BJP's demand for a body comprising of PM, the CJI and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, to appoint the CBI chief, Singh said that their suggestion had been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Addressing a press conference, Singh added that the CBI director should get a fixed, three or five-year tenure.

Singh, who oversaw the probe into the 2G scam, also said that the agency had not arrived at any 2G loss figure. "We have not arrived at any figure in 2G. The SC has, in fact, been monitoring our investigation," Singh said.

The CBI chief appointment row

Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, respectively, wrote a letter to the PM seeking a stay on the appointment of senior IPS officer Ranjit Sinha to the post of CBI director, citing the tabling of the Select Committee report on Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The report recommends that a collegium comprising of the PM, the CJI and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha appoint the CBI chief.

While the government stood by its decision, BJP's attack was further dented by one of its own leaders, Ram Jethmalani, who backed the PM saying he had averted a national disaster by appointing Sinha instead of the "other person (Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar)" in the race for the post.

The criticism proved to be costly for Jethmalani as he was suspended from the party with immediate effect on Sunday night. Jethmalani, however, remains defiant and on Tuesday morning, he again wrote a letter to the BJP Parliamentary Board questioning the possible involvement of Jaitley in the CBI director appointment row. He alleged that the lawyers representing Neeraj Kumar in the CAT, where he had filed a plea against the government over the CBI chief appointment, were Jaitley's juniors.

He further slammed Jaitley and Sushma for not consulting him on the Lokpal Bill. Jaitley, however, has refused to respond saying Jethmalani "does not deserve a reply anymore".