After CJI, Justice Sikri refuses to hear plea challenging appointment of interim CBI chief
New Delhi, Jan 24: Justice A K Sikri has recused himself from hearing a petition challenging the appointment of Nageshwar Rao as the interim director of CBI.
The move comes a week after CJI Ranjan Gogoi recused himself from hearing the same case.
The incident also comes in the backdrop of a report that Justice Sikri's name had been cleared for appointment to a tribunal in London after his retirement.
The matter now will be heard tomorrow by another Bench. After Justice Sikri made the announcement, advocate, Dushyant Dave said, 'first the CJI recuses himself and now Justice Sikri. The SC is trying to frustrate the cause of the petition. He also said that the high powered committee is meeting today on a new CBI Director. Hearing this case tomorrow is too late. We wish you here this case.
The Attorney General too agreed that Justice Sikri should hear this case. Justice Sikri however said that he wished he could. There are points of interest in this case, but no, better not to, he also said.
I would have opted out had CJI passed an administrative order allotting the case to me. But CJI did it in court and had no opportunity to refuse, Justice Sikri said.
A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a direction to quash the January 10 order of the government appointing IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as an interim director of the CBI.
CBI's Additional Director Rao was given the charge of CBI interim chief on January till the appointment of a new director after a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Kumar Verma as the chief of the probe agency on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty.
The petition, filed by NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, has sought laying down of specific mechanisms to ensure transparency in the process of appointment of CBI director.
It alleged that Rao's appointment was not made on the basis of recommendations of the high-powered selection committee, comprising the prime minister, the leader of the single largest opposition party and the chief justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him.