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The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on November 13 a plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a Special Director in the CBI. The matter was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer by advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, who sought an urgent listing of the plea. "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 termed the decision to appoint Asthana as "illegal" and "arbitrary". The plea has 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 also 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. It also said that 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.
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