SC refuses to interfere in CBI chief's appointment

SC refuses to interfere in CBI chief's appointment

Supreme Court today refused to direct the Centre to place before it the minutes of the meeting of a high-powered committee, comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition, which has selected Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma as the new CBI Director.

"It (direction to call for minutes of the meeting) is not within the ambit of this writ petition. As far as this writ petition is concerned, it is over now," a bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A M Khanwilkar said.

The apex court said this after it was informed by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the appointment to the post of CBI Director has been made and senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma has been appointed.

The Centre also ruled out the demand by the NGO, Common Cause, seeking a direction to it to place before the bench the minutes of the meeting of the high-level panel on the matter.

"Where is the question of placing the minutes of meeting now? A decision has been taken and order has been issued. Why are you (Bhushan) pushing for something which is over? There is no question of placing the minutes of the meeting," Rohatgi told the bench, which disposed of the plea.

Mehta also told the bench that the committee comprises the Prime Minister, CJI and the Leader of Opposition and "their wisdom cannot be questioned" like this.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO, urged the bench to direct the Centre to place before it the minutes of meeting of the committee. "Let them place the minutes of meeting. Last time the Attorney General had said they would place the minutes of the meeting before the court," he said.

Bhushan also told the bench that the minutes have to be seen to ascertain whether the new appointment has been made by following the law and procedure laid down by the apex court earlier.

He claimed that the meeting of the selection committee was not convened in December despite the fact that the earlier CBI Director Anil Sinha had retired on December 2.

However, his arguments did not cut much ice with the bench which reminded him that there was a "change in guard" at the helm of CJI also.

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