The central government has finally appointed Joint Secretary of Ministry of Law and Justice’s Sudha Rani Relangi as the new Prosecution Director at Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The official order confirming her appointment came on Friday. The post has been lying vacant for eight months now since December 24, 2018.

Before becoming the new CBI Prosecution Director, Relangi was serving in the position of joint secretary and legislative counsel, Legislative Department in the Ministry of Law and Justice.

“Approval of Competent Authority is hereby conveyed for the appointment of Sudha Rani Relangi, Joint Secretary and Legislative Counsel, Legislative Department to the post of Director of Prosecution in CBI from the panel recommended by Central Vigilance Commission… for a period of two years,” the official order said.

Previously, the position of the Prosecution Director at CBI was held by OP Verma. The position entails offering legal advice in CBI cases and also handling its prosecution. The Directorate attends to matters belonging to the legal domain such as interpretation of laws, the appointment of special counsels, statutory rules and regulations and amendments, preparation of notes on legal matters for publication in CBI Gazette, etc.

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Centre sought nominations from different ministries in January to fill the post since it is a crucial post in the federal probe agency. The Personnel Ministry wrote to secretaries of all government departments for names of eligible and willing officers, not below the rank of Joint Secretary and eligible for appointment as Special Public Prosecutor. The selection of the Director of Prosecution is made on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). It was for the first time that the agency was functioning without its regular chief and the Director of Prosecution.

“Approval of Competent Authority is hereby conveyed for the appointment of Sudha Rani Relangi, Joint Secretary and Legislative Counsel, Legislative Department to the post of Director of Prosecution in CBI from the panel recommended by Central Vigilance Commission… for a period of two years”

“Shortage of personnel at various levels in CBI is a perennial problem. The committee has expressed its concern on this on several occasions. Vacancy in any organisation, to a large extent, can be anticipated well in advance and proactive efforts should be initiated to complete necessary procedure to fill up the vacancies on time. The CBI seems to have failed in anticipating such a situation,” the panel had said in its report tabled in Parliament in January.

In 2016, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) ordered to fixate the tenure of Director of Prosecution to two years. “An officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and the officers who are eligible for appointment as Special Public Prosecutor within the meaning of Sub-Section 8 and 9 of Section 24 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973,” an order by the DoPT said then.

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