The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Special Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The apex court will hear the plea on November 13.
The petition also claimed that the CBI was probing a matter in which the 56-year-old’s name had appeared and demanded quashing of his appointment. It urged the court to direct the government to produce the entire record relating to Asthana’s selection and appointment as CBI Special Director.
The CBI investigates sensitive cases involving powerful and influential individuals, the petition said, and added that “strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the statutory law in such appointments is necessary for upholding the rule of law and for enforcement of the rights of the citizens.”
The petition contended that Special Director was the second highest office in the CBI after Director and supervised almost all the important cases being handled by the agency and was responsible for constitution of teams for probing corruption cases.
“The appointment to a high post such as that of the Special Director of CBI itself is bound to create situations where officers junior to Respondent No. 2 (Asthana) would not be able to conduct a free, fair and fearless probe into his role,” the petition read.