New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI Director. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran said no further interference is required as the relief has already been granted with the appointment of a full-time CBI director.
The verdict came on a plea of NGO, Common Cause, which had challenged the appointment of Rao as interim CBI director. In a previous hearing on 1 February, the top court had said that it was “averse” to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should “immediately” appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.
The bench had said the agency was not functioning properly and the officers were fighting and levelling corruption allegations against each other which was wholly unbecoming of them.
The court had also said that the new CBI director who would be appointed must “trace the movements of files” during the period when former CBI chief Alok Verma was reinstated to the post for two days.
Three judges of the apex court — Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices AK Sikri and NV Ramana had recused themselves from hearing the matter. In its petition in the apex court, the NGO had sought specific mechanisms to ensure transparency in the process of appointing the CBI director.
The plea had alleged that the 23 October last year order of the government appointing Rao as interim CBI director was quashed by the top court on 8 January but the Centre “acted in a completely malafide, arbitrary and illegal manner” to appoint him again in “complete contravention” of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
On 10 January, Rao, additional director in CBI, was made interim chief till the appointment of a new director, after the removal of Verma. On 4 February, Rishi Kumar Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer, took charge of the probe agency as a full-fledged director.