The Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to hear next week the plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief, PTI has reported. The petition, filed by NGO Common Cause is seeking to quash the January 10 order of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet that named Rao as the acting CBI chief for a second time.
Rao was first made the interim chief of CBI after the then Director Alok Verma was divested of his powers and sent on forced leave in October last year.
The NGO’s plea also seeks that the procedure laid down in Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 should be followed for the appointment of the CBI director.
After the removal of former CBI chief Alok Verma by the committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rao was named as the interim chief of the agency for the second time. Verma was transferred as Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, an offer which he refused and subsequently resigned from the Indian Police Services (IPS) instead.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge termed the appointment of Rao as interim chief as ‘illegal’ and in a letter to the PM Modi urged that a meeting of the selection committee should be called immediately to choose a new CBI Director ‘without further delay’.
Kharge had voted against the removal of Verma as the CBI chief and has since asked that the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Justice A K Patnaik’s report on Verma should be available on public domain so that the people can draw their own conclusions in the matter.