The Union Cabinet on Tuesday promoted M Nageswara Rao, interim Central Bureau of Investigation director, to the rank of an additional director, PTI reported. The announcement gains significance amid the ongoing spat within the investigation agency since October 23.

Rao is a 1986-batch Indian Police Services officer from the Odisha cadre. The Cabinet’s Appointments Committee cleared his name for the promotion.

He had joined the investigating agency as joint director in 2016, PTI reported. The Supreme Court had ordered Rao to refrain from taking any major decisions as interim CBI chief but allowed him to perform routine tasks that are essential to keep the investigating agency functioning.

The tussle in the CBI came to light on October 15 after the agency named CBI second-in-command Rakesh Asthana in a First Information Report for allegedly accepting a Rs 2-crore bribe to scuttle an investigation against businessman Moin Qureshi, who is accused in multiple corruption cases. Asthana, in turn, accused CBI director Alok Verma of trying to falsely implicate him and levelled corruption charges against him. The Centre sent them both on leave.

In October, Rao had issued a statement defending financial transactions between his wife and a private firm following allegations of unaccounted money.