New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday issued fresh guidelines to its officers asking them to take permission of an additional director, or a special director, or the director of CBI before investigating joint secretaries and officials ranked above them.

The direction comes in the wake of a recent Supreme Court judgement which struck down the provision of seeking mandatory prior approval by the CBI of the government to investigate officers of the rank of joint secretary and above.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha, who had termed it as a landmark judgement, however, had a word of caution for its officers: “Those found guilty of abusing their authority will be dealt with severely."

Sinha had said the order had charged the CBI with more responsibilities, as a proper mechanism is needed to ensure no innocent is wronged.

“We have strengthened our already existing mechanism, and due diligence will be done before questioning any senior officer," he had said.

It said that in case of a complaint in any CBI office against a Union minister, the same shall be forwarded to the home ministry promptly for further action and the relevant file should remain in the personal custody of head of the branch.

No complaint against any such officer will be handed over to a CBI officer below the rank of a superintendent of police, the guidelines said.

The superintendent of police should ensure that the departmental records are examined discreetly so that secrecy of the verification is maintained, it said and advised to consult the records informally by contacting the concerned vigilance officers or the head of the department.

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