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SC expresses displeasure at non-appointment of regular CBI Director

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre why it has not appointed a regular CBI director and said it was “averse” to the appointment of interim chief for the agency for a long period. A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha said the post of CBI director was sensitive and the government should have appointed a regular director by now.

Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court that a high-powered committee, headed by the prime minister, will hold a meeting to select a new CBI director. He also told the court that the Centre had taken the approval of the high-powered committee before appointing IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI director.

Taking account of the attorney general’s submissions that the committee will hold a meeting on Friday, the apex court posted the matter for hearing on February 6. The bench was hearing a petition of NGO Common Cause challenging the appointment of Rao as interim CBI Director., During the hearing, the bench said the process of appointing a CBI director should have been over by now as it was known that the earlier CBI chief was going to retire in January.

The court also told the attorney general that the new CBI director who would be appointed must “trace the movements of files” during the period when former CBI chief Alok Kumar Verma was reinstated to the post for two days. The attorney general placed before the bench in a sealed cover the minutes of the meeting of the high-powered committee held earlier.  The last meeting of the committee took place on January 24 but it remained “inconclusive”.

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