Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta on Thursday recused himself from hearing a petition challenging the appointment of Subodh Kumar Jaiswal as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2021, Live Law reported.

At Thursday’s hearing, Datta said it would not be proper for him to hear the matter as the petitioner, Rajendrakumar Trivedi, had written a complaint letter about him to the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana in March.

However, Trivedi’s counsel told the court that his client had written no such letter. Advocate Satish Talekar even said that he would file an affidavit stating that someone might have impersonated as Trivedi in the purported letter sent to Chief Justice of India Ramana, Live Law reported.

In response, Bombay High Court Chief Justice Datta said that justice should not only be done, but also seen to have been done and so, he should recuse himself from the case.

Justice PB Varale will now hear the matter.

Plea against appointment of CBI director

Jaiswal, a 1985 batch Indian Police Service officer from the Maharashtra cadre, was appointed the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in May last year. He has earlier served as the police chief of Maharashtra and has also had long stints at the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing.

In his plea, Trivedi, a retired assistant commissioner of the Maharashtra Police had contended that Jaiswal did not have enough experience in handling anti-corruption cases and that there were doubts about his credibility, Bar and Bench reported.

However, the central government rejected the claims made by Trivedi and urged the Bombay High Court to dismiss the plea on Thursday.

In an affidavit, the Ministry of Personnel & Public Grievances submitted that Jaiswal has the requisite experience of investigating anti-corruption cases, including those related to economic offences, corporate frauds and matters related to the Prevention of Corruption Act.

There were no ending complaints or court cases against Jaiswal either, the ministry added in the affidavit, according to Bar and Bench.