MN Rao's appointment as interim CBI director challenged

The petition, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan also sought the issuance of directions for appointment of a director, 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.

NGO 'Common Cause' on Monday filed a plea in the Supreme Court for quashing of the government's order of January 10 giving charge of the CBI director to IPS officer M Nageshwara Rao as an interim measure.

The petitioner claimed that the order issued after then CBI director Alok Verma resigned 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 petition, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan also sought the issuance of directions for appointment of a director, 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.

Also read: EDITORIAL On CBI chief, blatant action

The appointment of the CBI director has to be made by a high-powered selection panel of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and 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, CBI on January 10. The appointment of Rao as interim CBI director was apparently not made on the basis of recommendations of the high powered selection committee,” it said.

Also read: CBI vs CBI: No end in sight to agency troubles

The order was also in violation of the apex court's January 8 judgement which reinstated Verma and quashed the appointment of Rao as interim director.

“The government of India has attempted to stifle the independence of the institution of the CBI by appointing the director of the CBI in an arbitrary and illegal manner. Further, the lack of transparency in the process of appointment prevents any meaningful public scrutiny and allows the government to exercise undue influence in the process especially at the stage of short-listing of candidates, thereby undermining the institution of the CBI,” it said.  

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MN Rao's appointment as interim CBI director challenged

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