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Appointment of Asthana as CBI chief questioned

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New Delhi | Friday, Dec 9 2016 IST
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre over the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI), seeking a detailed explanation from it.A division bench, headed by Justice Kurian Joseph and also comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, issued notice to the Central government and sought a detailed response by December 16, Friday.The petition was filed in the Apex Court by the registered society - Common Cause - seeking a direction from it on the grounds that the Central government has acted in a mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim Director, of the premier probe agency.The plea sought the quashing of the appointment of Asthana as interim Director, of the CBI and a direction to the Union government to initiate the process for the appointment of regular director of the premier investigating agency as per the law.The Centre while responding to the petition of Common Cause, told the Apex Court that it had sent letters to the Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur and the leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha to convene a meeting to select the CBI Director.The petition contended that the government has acted in a mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure the appointment of Asthana as interim director, CBI.Telling the court that Asthana had headed the Special Investigating Team that had probed the Godhra train burning case and held several important positions in Gujarat police, Common Cause said, "the Government 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".The petition pointed out that it was for the first time in one decade that an interim director was thrust on the investigating agency. It said that the process for the appointment of Ranjit Sinha's successor should have commenced well in advance.UNI XC RP1724

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0364-1058316.Xml

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