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Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI director.
The CJI said he cannot hear the plea as he would be a part of the selection committee meeting to choose the next CBI director this week. The meeting is expected to take place on 24 January.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that he is a member of the Selection Committee to pick new CBI Director. The plea will now be heard on January 24 by another bench. https://t.co/QO9B8Q8nUn— ANI (@ANI) January 21, 2019
The high-powered selection committee comprises the prime minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the CJI or his nominee judge of the apex court.
Rao was appointed the interim chief of the investigating agency after a selection panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Verma as the director.
Rao’s appointment was challenged by NGO Common Cause. It asked for directions for laying down specific mechanisms to ensure transparency in the appointment process to the investigation agency.
According to media reports the NGO said, “The appointment of Nageswara Rao as interim CBI Director was apparently not made on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered Selection Committee. The order dated January 10, 2019, states that the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Nageswara Rao 'as per the earlier arrangements.”
"However, this earlier arrangement i.e. order dated October 23, 2018, making Rao the interim Director, had been quashed by this court vide order dated January 8, 2019, as it was made in violation of the procedure for appointment of CBI Director as defined in the DPSE Act," it added.