January 21: In an another controversial matter of premiere agency of country which has its genesis in bribery case, today, while hearing a plea challenging M Nageswara Rao's appointment as interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi recused himself from the hearing.
The sources say that CJI Ranjan Gogoi announced his decision while clarifying that he is also a member of the selection committee to decide a new CBI director and the move taken by him is for maintaining the transparency during the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the CBI director.
The plea will now be heard by another bench on January 24.
It is to be noted that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee is also scheduled to meet on January 24, in order to discuss the names for the post of CBI Chief.
Earlier, former CBI director Alok Verma was removed as the CBI director on January 10, by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appointed Mr. Rao second time as interim chief whose appointment was challenged before the Court claiming that the decision is "mala fide, arbitrary and taken in an illegal manner" and furthermore that Mr. Rao's appointment is in "complete contravention" of the DSPE Act.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, challenging Mr. Rao's appointment as the interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief and also sought specific mechanisms which can ensure transparency in the process of appointment of CBI director.
The NGO’s in its plea also sought that the appointment of the CBI director should be done as per the procedure laid down in Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.