CJI recuses from hearing plea against Nageswara Rao appointment as interim CBI chief

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Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim director of the CBI.

The CJI said, he is a member of the high-powered selection committee that will select the next CBI Director after Alok Verma’s removal.

The selection panel is likely to meet on January 24 to appoint the new CBI director.

M Nageswara Rao was made to continue as interim director after the selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with its other two members being Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A.K. Sikri decided to remove Alok Verma as CBI director and transfer him to fire services.

NGO Common Cause had earlier approached the Supreme Court through advocate Prashant Bhushan, seeking a direction to cancel the government’s order appointing Rao as the acting director of the agency.

M Nageswara Rao, a 1986-batch IPS officer from the Odisha cadre had joined the CBI as a joint director in 2016.

Soon after he took charge as interim CBI director, Rao reverted all transfer decisions taken by Verma restoring the position of officials.