Nageswara Rao’s Appointment As Interim CBI Chief Challenged In Top Court

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Nageswara Rao’s Appointment As Interim CBI Chief Challenged In Top Court

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a direction to quash the January 10 order of the government appointing IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as an interim director of the CBI. The petition was filed by NGO Common Cause through senior advocate Prashant Bhushan. 

The PIL filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan has sought a direction to the Centre to appoint a regular Director of CBI forthwith by following the procedure laid down in Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

It alleged that Rao’s appointment was not made on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered selection committee, comprising the prime minister, the leader of the single largest opposition party and the chief justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him.

“In fact, it appears that the committee was completely bypassed and had no role in the appointment of Nageswara Rao, thereby rendering the appointment illegal as it is in violation of the procedure for appointment of Director, CBI laid down in the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act,” the plea, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, said.

Rao was appointed as the interim director for the second time after former CBI chief Alok Verma was removed by a high-powered selection panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was transferred as Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. However, Verma turned down the offer by resigning from the Indian Police Services (IPS).

Within hours of resuming control as interim CBI director, Nageshwar Rao reversed all the transfer orders issued by Verma last week after he was reinstated following a Supreme Court order. Rao also ordered the transfer of four officials at the level of joint director.

Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were divested of their powers and sent on leave by the government in October for accusing each other of corruption and other irregularities.