The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that senior IPS officer R K Dutta’s services at CBI was curtailed according to the provisions of the law which govern the functioning of the probe agency. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph that Dutta was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs in pursuance of section 4 (C) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act as he does not have requisite number of years of service left.
He also informed the bench that the formal process of selecting a regular CBI director has already commenced and the members of the selection panel which includes the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition are likely to meet by end-December.
The bench, also comprising of Justice R F Nariman, fixed the matter for further hearing on January 17 next year.
The apex court had on December 9 sought the Centre’s response on a plea challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim director of CBI after shifting of Dutta, who was supervising high-profile cases like 2G spectrum and coal scams, by curtailing his tenure.
Asthana, an IPS officer of 1984-batch, was elevated as CBI’s Additional Director on December 2 when its Special Director R K Dutta, who was reportedly among the front-runners for the top post, was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs as a Special Secretary.