SC dismisses petition questioning Asthana’s appointment as Special CBI Director

CBI Rakesh Asthana

The top Court on Friday junked the PIL filed by an NGO-Common Cause which sought a re-examination of the verdict upholding Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Special CBI Director.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, “We have gone through the curative petition and connected papers. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this court.”

The NGO argued that Asthana’s name came out in a diary, recovered during an IT raid on a biotech company. The petition claimed that the appointment was illegal and devious. It mentioned that while he was police commissioner in Surat in 2011, he regularly accepted money favors from Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech and Sandesara Group of companies; thus claiming that his appointment is a violation of institutional integrity. The PIL underlined that as per the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, the Centre can only appoint the CBI special director on the recommendation of a committee which must be comprised of the Central Vigilance Commissioner, vigilance commissioners, the home secretary, and the personal secretary, in consultation with the CBI director.

But the bench replied that Asthana’s appointment cannot be scrapped merely on the basis of unverified diary entries against him. The SC also said that it cannot question the unanimous decision by the selection committee.

The Centre appointed Rakesh Asthana as the CBI special director in October last year.

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