Supreme Court on Friday sought explanation from the Centre’s Narendra Modi government, CBI by 16 December on the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as acting CBI director.
The apex court also asked the central government how it had moved the CBI Special Director R K Dutta out of the federal agency prematurely without the consent of the CVC and other relevant agencies.
SC asks govt:How did you move Spl Dir CBI Dutta out of CBI prematurely w/o consent of CVC etc & w/o permission of Court in 2G&Coalgate cases https://t.co/vA6UywVW9Q
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) December 9, 2016
According to existing rules, the government is dutifully bound to get the CVC’s approval to reduce the tenure of any CBI officer.
Curiously, Dutta was a part of the team that investigated the 2G and coal block allocation scams. The apex court had asked the Centre to seek its permission before transferring the officers associated with these two cases. But this has not been followed in Dutta’s case.
The petition, filed by the NGO, had 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.
Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed a PIL against the “mala fide non-appointment” and giving additional charge to Rakesh Asthana”.
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.
(With additional inputs from India Today)