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Plea in SC against appointment of Nageswara Rao as CBI interim director

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

A petition has been filed in the on Monday against M Nageswara Rao's appointment as of the (CBI) and has sought transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the

The petition filed by NGO Common Cause and Anjali Bhardwaj, to secure "independence and autonomy" of CBI, sought quashing of the order dated January 10 by which the charge and duties of the have been handed over to as an interim measure.

The petitioners claims that the lack of transparency in the appointment of the Director allows the government to exercise "undue influence in the appointment process" specially at the stage of short-listing of candidates.

After the Selection Committee, comprising Narendra Modi, Justice AK Sikri and of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, removed as CBI director, was again appointed interim CBI Director.

"Lack of transparency prevents any public scrutiny of the appointment process," added the plea.

The plea filed through said the order of appointing Rao as of CBI was "illegal, arbitrary, malafide" and in violation of the provisions of the Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act). The DSPE Act provides for the constitution of the CBI and lays down the procedure for the appointment of the CBI director.

The DSPE Act as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 provides for the appointment of the CBI director by a high powered which does not have a preponderance of the government and its representatives. The committee consists of the Prime Minister, of Opposition and the of or any of nominated by him.

"It appears that this particular committee has been completely bypassed by the Union of which has arbitrarily and without any jurisdiction appointed as interim Director, CBI on January 10. The appointment of Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI Director was apparently not made on the basis of recommendations of the high powered selection committee," the petition added.

It further said that the January 10 order states that the of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Nageshwar Rao "as per the earlier arrangement".

This earlier arrangement - October 23, 2018 order making Nageshwar Rao interim CBI Director, had been quashed by the by January 8 order as it was made in violation of the procedure for appointment of CBI Director as defined in the DSPE Act, said the petition.

"However, the government still invoked its earlier order which had been quashed, to once again make Nageshwar Rao of the CBI even though it is not the competent authority and does not have any powers to make the appointment, without following the due process laid down in the DSPE Act i.e. appointment based on recommendations made by the high powered selection committee," added the petition.

has refused to take up his new posting - DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. After removal of Verma from CBI Director post, Rao was given charge of interim CBI

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 18:16 IST