Hours before he walked into a meeting of the high-powered committee to pick the new director for the CBI, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar chanced upon a case relating to one of the names that was to be considered for the top post — Rupak Kumar Dutta. Senior lawyer Nidesh Gupta mentioned Dutta’s name before the CJI on Monday while seeking an urgent hearing of a case against the senior IPS officer.
Watch What Else Is Making News
The charges against Dutta pertained to his tenure in 2009 as ADGP (anti-corruption wing) in the Karnataka Lokayukta’s office, when he pursued an LLB course from a Bengaluru college. He was accused of either forcing the college to give him the mandatory 70 per cent attendance or he was attending classes while he should have been on duty. Four months after the Karnataka High Court quashed the criminal case filed against him under charges of cheating, forgery, impersonation and conspiracy, Gupta mentioned the case for an urgent listing on behalf of his client, G Mallesh.
Gupta, who was then asked by the CJI when the High Court order was passed. Gupta said the order was passed in September 2016, but it was being mentioned for an expeditious listing since “Rupak Kumar Dutta’s name is likely to be considered for the post of DGP, Karnataka”.
At this, CJI Khehar said he would not allow an urgent hearing for a petition challenging an order passed four months ago. “For an order passed in September, we cannot allow your request,” he said as he turned down the plea.
The case is now expected to be heard on January 23.
A controversy recently broke out over the transfer of Dutta, a 1981 Karnataka cadre officer, to the Ministry of Home Affairs from the CBI, where he served as Special Director and was a contender for the next CBI chief’s post. NGO Common Cause has also moved a petition in the top court, accusing the government of transferring Dutta out of the CBI with a design to stop him from becoming CBI director.
When the high-powered committee met on Monday, Dutta was one of the names discussed by the panel that has Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the single largest party in Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge as members other than the CJI.