The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Bar and Bench reported. Rao was appointed the interim chief after the previous director of the agency Alok Verma was removed by a high-level committee presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 10.
The bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause and Right to Information activist Anjali Bharadwaj questioning Rao’s appointment. The court said since a regular director of the CBI has now been appointed, there was no need for interference.
The bench also refused to set out guidelines for more transparency in appointments to the top CBI post.
On January 21, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recused himself from hearing the case, stating that he was part of the committee which would select the new CBI director. Three days later, Justice AK Sikri too recused himself, saying that he had been part of the committee which had removed Verma from the post, leading to Rao’s appointment. On January 31, Justice NV Ramana became the third judge to recuse himself from the hearing, saying that he had attended Rao’s daughter’s wedding.
On February 2, a selection panel appointed Rishi Kumar Shukla the CBI’s next director.