After Gogoi, another SC judge recuses from hearing plea challenging interim CBI chief's appointment

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Jan 24: This may appear weird and a bit strange as one senior judge after the other is refusing to hear the highly sensitive case of the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim CBI director.After Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, now Supreme Court judge A K Sikri has recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim Central Bureau of Investigation director.CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Monday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim CBI director, saying he would be part of the selection committee to choose the agency's new chief.This high-powered committee which will select the Central Bureau of Investigation director 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.After the removal of Alok Verma from the coveted post, on January 10, M Nageswara Rao, additional director in the CBI, was made interim chief till the appointment of a new director.Earlier it was decided that the government will meet on January 24 to appoint new CBI chief. CJI Gogoi had appointed Justice Sikri to hear PIL against Rao. PIL has claimed Rao's appointment as interim CBI chief illegal.

A bench led by Justice Sikri has now listed the plea for fresh hearing tomorrow before a different bench.

Earlier justice AK Sikri withdrew his consent to a government offer to nominate him for president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT).The government is understood to have recommended Supreme Court Justice Sikri's name for CSAT late last year.Citing a media report, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet that "when the scales of justice are tampered with, anarchy reigns".Sikri's consent was "taken orally for a vacancy" in the Commonwealth tribunal, sources said.Sources close to the second senior-most judge after the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told PTI that the consent was withdrawn Sunday evening when the judge wrote to the Law Ministry, seeking withdrawal of his consentThe insinuation linking the CSAT assignment with Justice Sikri's participation in the committee, which decided on the ouster of Alok Verma as CBI director, was wrong, they said.With Agencies