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Posted at: Jan 21, 2017, 2:03 AM; last updated: Jan 21, 2017, 2:03 AM (IST)

SC refuses to interfere in CBI chief’s appointment

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 20

The Supreme Court today refused to ask for the file pertaining to the appointment of Alok Kumar Verma as the CBI Director on approval by a three-member panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha.

A Bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and AM Khanwilkar told PIL petitioner’s counsel Prashant Bhushan that the petition had only questioned the logic behind the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as the interim CBI Director, instead of having a regular Director.

Nothing survived in the PIL by NGO Common Cause as a regular CBI Director had been appointed, the Bench said. Alleging irregularities, Bushan pleaded with the Bench to scrutinise the file. The Bench, however, pointed out that CJI JS Khehar was part of the appointment panel.

Earlier, the Bench had directed the Centre to justify the appointment of Asthana as interim director after transferring another contender RK Dutta to the Home Ministry.

Bhushan had pleaded that the government was destroying the CBI by resorting to such illegal appointments.

The Centre had contended that it was necessary to shift Dutta to the Home Ministry to coordinate efforts of various intelligence agencies. Bhushan, however, said the CBI Director should have been appointed much before the retirement of the outgoing CBI chief.

Alok Kumar Verma, the Delhi Police Commissioner, was yesterday appointed as the new CBI Chief and his name was cleared by a three-member selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as members.

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