Appointment of Interim CBI chief: Mallikarjun Kharge writes to PM Modi
The central government has said it will respond to Kharge's letter by this evening
The senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has reportedly written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim director of CBI, alleging a complete vitiation of the process.
Alleging that a meeting of a committee that chooses the CBI chief was not called deliberately, the congress leader said that move was taken to "facilitate giving the charge to a junior officer,” NDTV reported.
"The entire process has been vitiated and is being manipulated to preempt the decision to be arrived at in the meeting of the selection committee," Kharge was quoted by the news channel.
Asthana, an IPS officer of 1984-batch, was elevated as the Additional Director in the agency on December 2 when CBI Special Director R K Dutta, who was reportedly among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a Special Secretary.
Kharge has also referred to the sudden transfer of RK Dutta to the Ministry of Home Affairs in his letter sent to Prime Minister.
The central government has said it will respond to Kharge's letter by this evening, giving clarification over the decision and the selection committee meeting, NDTV reported.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana on December 9.
The petition, filed by the NGO Common Cause, 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 has 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 December 2.
The PIL claimed that the government had “prematurely curtailed” the tenure and transferred Dutta to MHA on November 30 — just two days before Sinha was slated to demit office.