Dismissing A petition challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the CBI’s Interim Director, the Supreme Court Tuesday said the appointment had the authorisation of the High-Powered Selection Committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The court was dealing with a petition by NGO Common Cause, which contended that Rao’s appointment upon the removal of CBI’s former director Alok Varma did not appear to have the sanction of the Committee as required by section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, under which the agency was constituted.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha, which perused the minutes of the meeting, said, “It is clear from the resolution passed by the Committee on 9/10th January, 2019 that the appointment of interim Director had been authorised by the Committee under section 4A. Thus, it cannot be said to be unauthorised and illegal in any manner whatsoever. The submission raised that the Selection Committee had not authorised the appointment of interim Director is fallacious…”
Appearing for the NGO, advocate Prashant Bhushan prayed that the court direct the government to appoint a regular Director with due procedure.
Dismissing the petition, the court ruled that “since the regular Director has been appointed, the main prayer of the petitioner stands satisfied and there is absolutely no justification to continue with this writ petition in the aforesaid circumstances”.
It, however, added that “in case the due process has not been followed in the appointment, it is always open to any incumbent, if so advised, to question the appointment…”
The court said the minutes of the HPSC meeting showed that the “government was authorised to post a suitable officer as interim Director…”.