A new three-judge bench in the Supreme Court would on Thursday take up a petition filed by NGO 'Common Cause' against the appointment of IPS officer M Nageshwara Rao as an interim CBI director.
The matter has been posted before a bench of Justices N V Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee.
Justice A K Sikri had on January 23 recused as he participated in a meeting of a high-level panel to remove then CBI director Alok Verma as a nominee of the Chief Justice of India.
On Monday, the CJI was the first to recuse from the matter, saying he was going to participate in the meeting of the selection panel for the CBI director.
In the plea filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, the petitioners, including RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj, claimed that the order issued to appoint Rao after then CBI director Alok Verma decided to superannuate was as “illegal, arbitrary, mala fide” and in violation of the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and the apex court's judgment of January 8 wherein Verma was directed to be reinstated.
The petitioners sought the issuance of directions for appointment of a director, the CBI as per the procedure established by law and for ensuring transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the head of the investigating agency.
The appointment of the CBI director is made by the panel of the prime minister, the CJI and the leader of Opposition.
“It appears that this particular committee has been completely bypassed by the Union government which has arbitrarily and without any jurisdiction appointed Rao as interim director of the CBI on January 10. The appointment of Rao as the interim CBI director was apparently not made on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered selection committee,” it said.