An NGO on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation on the grounds that the appointment was done in violation of rules and regulation. The petition filed by Common Cause through advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged that the appointment of the Gujarat-cadre 1984 batch IPS officer’s appointment was “illegal, arbitrary, mala fide and in violation of the principle of impeccable integrity and institutional integrity”. According to Common Cause, the attributes of impeccable integrity and institutional integrity have been held to be sine qua non for appointment to such a key position in the CBI.
“Strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the statutory law in such appointments is necessary for upholding the rule of law and for enforcement of the rights of the citizens under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” the petition stated. Asthana headed the state Special Investigation Team that probed the burning of Sabarmati Express in Godhra in February 2002.