Plea to remove M Nageshwar Rao as CBI Interim Director: CJI Ranjan Gogoi recuses

Plea to remove M Nageshwar Rao as CBI Interim Director: CJI Ranjan Gogoi recuses

Murali Krishnan

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi today recused from hearing the case seeking quashing of the order appointing M Nageshwar Rao as Interim  Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The petition filed by NGO Common Cause came up for hearing today as item 34 before a Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

Gogoi J. remarked that he will be participating in the meeting of the Selection Committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, and hence, would not like to hear the matter.

He, therefore, directed that the matter be posted before another Bench.

The PIL filed by NGO Common Cause challenges the appointment of Nageshwar Rao as the Interim Director after former Director Alok Verma was transferred out of the agency.

The petitioner contends that the appointment of Nageshwar Rao is illegal, arbitrary, mala fide and in violation of the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and the judgment of the Supreme Court in Alok Verma v. Union of India and Common Cause v. Union of India.

Besides praying for quashing the appointment of Nageshwar Rao as Interim Director, the petitioner has sought issuance of an appropriate writ for appointment of a Director, CBI as per the procedure established by law and appropriate directions to ensure transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the Director of the CBI.

The petitioner NGO has also prayed that records of deliberations and criteria related to short-listing and selection of the Director, CBI be recorded and made available to citizens in consonance with the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).

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