A PIL was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim director of the CBI.
The plea, filed by NGO Common Cause and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, has alleged that the Centre took a series of steps in a “completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure that Asthana was given the charge of CBI director”.
It claimed that the government did not convene a meeting of the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the largest Opposition Party and the Chief Justice of India, even though it was fully aware that Anil Sinha was going to demit the office of CBI director on 2 December.
Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre officer of 1984-batch, was elevated as the Additional Director in the agency on Dec 2 when CBI Special Director RK Dutta, who was reportedly among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a Special Secretary.
The PIL claimed that the government had “prematurely curtailed” the tenure of and transferred Dutta, to the MHA on Nov 30, just two days before Sinha was slated to demit office.