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The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a Special Director in CBI on November 13. A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer fixed the date after advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause. “The matter is about a gentleman’s appointment as a Special Director of CBI. We are challenging it. Kindly list the matter urgently on Friday or Monday,” Bhushan told the bench.
The petition called the decision to appoint Asthana as a Special Director of the CBI “illegal” and “arbitrary”. A 1984-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Asthana was appointed the CBI special director on October 22. The plea claimed that the CBI was probing a matter in which Asthana’s name had cropped up.
Demanding quashing of Asthana’s appointment, the plea has sought a direction to the Centre to transfer him out of the agency during the pendency of the investigation.
The petition has claimed that the government and the selection committee overruled the opinion of the CBI Director in violation of the law.
The Special Director was the second highest office in the CBI after the Director and supervised almost all important cases being handled by the agency.