Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi Monday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI director.
The CJI said since he would be part of the selection committee meeting on Jan 24 that would decide the new CBI director.
The high-powered selection committee comprises the prime minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the CJI or his nominee judge of the apex court.
A bench comprising CJI and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the appointment of Rao as interim CBI director.
The matter will now be heard on Jan 24 by Justice Sikri.
Nagehswar Rao was appointed as the interim director by the government after they asked the former CBI chief Alok Verma to go leave in a midnight drama in October last year, when the infighting in the investigating agency became public.
Verma disputed this in the Supreme Court and the apex court reinstated him in CBI with limited powers on Jan 10. However, the selection committee removed him from the post the very next day, and Rao was made the interim chief after a gap of a day.
Verma, subsequently submitted his resignation from service on Jan 11, a day after he was removed from his post by a high powered committee.
Verma said in his resignation letter that it was a moment of ‘collective introspection.’ He informed the Department of Personnel and Training that he will not take charge as director general of fire services and home guard.