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India Rakesh Asthana's appointment as special CBI director upheld by...

Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as special CBI director upheld by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court rejected the curative petition filed by NGO, Common Cause, the review petition of which was held to be devoid of merits; this was a petition against the apex court's 11 december verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has dismissed a curative petition seeking to re-examine its verdict upholding the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a special director of CBI.

The apex court rejected the curative petition filed by NGO, Common Cause, whose review petition was also earlier held to be devoid of merits.

After an in-chamber hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice 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 (in the case laying down guidelines to deal with the curative petition).”

The bench, also comprising Justices MB Lokur, AK Sikri and AM Sapre, had passed the order on 11 December, It was made public on the apex court’s website on Friday.

A curative petition is heard in the chamber of judges in the absence of lawyers.

The decision of the apex court came amidst a bitter feud between Asthana and CBI Director Alok Verma. Both have been divested of powers and sent on leave by the central government on 23 October.

The apex court, on 28 November 2017, had dismissed the PIL filed by the NGO against the appointment of Asthana to the post of CBI special director, saying it cannot question a “unanimous” decision taken by the selection committee and the decision is not illegal.

Later, the court dismissed the plea seeking review of the verdict. The top court had said there cannot be any doubt that if the statute provides for consultation with any person before making a recommendation for appointment to any post, the consultation with that person has to be made.

The NGO in its petition had challenged Asthana’s appointment, saying it was illegal as his name had surfaced in a diary recovered during a raid conducted by the Income Tax Department at the offices and other premises of company Sterling Biotech Ltd.

The Centre had said that Asthana, who was earlier an additional director in CBI, was looking after its eleven zones and had supervised the investigation and trial of several scam cases, including Augusta Westland, Ambulance Scam, Kingfisher, Hassan Ali Khan, Moin Qureshi and coal allocation.

It had said the selection committee had given good reasons for not accepting the contents of the letter submitted by the CBI director and recommended Asthana for appointment as CBI special director.

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