SC judge recuses from hearing PIL against Guj-cadre IPS as CBI Spl director

SC judge recuses from hearing PIL against Guj-cadre IPS as CBI Spl director

A Supreme Court judge on Monday recused from considering a plea by NGO 'Common Cause' against appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

As a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha took up the matter, Justice Sinha preferred to withdraw from hearing the PIL filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan.

The court posted the matter for hearing on Friday before another bench  sans Justice Sinha.

The NGO claimed Asthana's appointment was made despite opposition by the CBI chief over his "integrity".

The NGO relied upon news reports allegedly stating that Asthana's name   figured in a diary recovered in 2011 showing pay-offs to several officers in Surat. The diary was connected to a person related to senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel. The CBI had registered an FIR in this regard on August 30, it contended.

The appointment of Respondent No 2 (Asthana) on October 22 is in violation of the principles of "impeccable integrity" and "institutional integrity"," it claimed. The petitioner also sought transfer of Asthana out of CBI during the investigation, initiated following lodging of an FIR on   the payouts to various public servants, allegedly by Sterling Biotech Group and Sandesara Group.

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