The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on 9 December a plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the interim director of CBI.
“Okay. It will come up on Friday,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, mentioned the plea.
The petition, filed by the NGO, alleged that the Centre took a series of steps in a “completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure that Asthana was given the charge of CBI director”.
It has claimed that the government did not convene a meeting of the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the Chief Justice of India, even though it was fully aware that Anil Sinha was going to demit the office of CBI director on 2 December.
Asthana, an IPS officer of 1984-batch, was elevated as the Additional Director in the agency on 2 December when CBI Special Director R K Dutta, who was reportedly among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a Special Secretary.
The PIL claimed that the government had “prematurely curtailed” the tenure and transferred Dutta to MHA on 30 November — just two days before Sinha was slated to demit office.
(With inputs from PTI)