Bombay High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta on Thursday recused from hearing the petition seeking quashing of the appointment of Subodh Kumar Jaiswal as Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The petitioner Rajendrakumar Trivedi, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police force in Maharashtra, has challenged the continuation of Jaiswal as CBI chief on the ground that he does not possess experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases and has doubtful credibility.
The plea highlighted the provisions of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act which provide for the eligibility criteria that state, that the officer who is to be appointed as Director, has to be the senior-most IPS officer having experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases with impeccable credibility.
The plea by Trivedi stated that the appointment of Jaiswal as Director was contrary to the mandate under the CVC Act.
CJ Datta said in open court that the petitioner in the case, Rajendrakumar V Trivedi wrote to Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana complaining about Justice Datta.
“It seems the petitioner has written a letter to the CJI. It is not in good taste. How do we defend ourselves,” the CJ asked.
The CJ also showed the letter to Trivedi’s counsel advocate SB Talekar.
Talekar, however, strongly refuted the same maintaining that his client has not written such a letter and he was willing to say so on affidavit.
“My client has never written any letter, I am willing to put on affidavit,” said Talekar.
“Justice should seem to have been done. It is very easy to tarnish someone’s image,” Justice Datta remarked.
“Nowadays, it has become frequent that when someone doesn’t get relief, they file such letters. This will become a trend,” Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh weighed in.
“It would be most appropriate if you approach any other Bench,” the CJ said recusing himself.
The Central government recently filed its counter-affidavit in the matter defending Jaiswal’s appointment, stating that Jaiswal has handled anti-corruption cases including economic offenses, white collar crimes, corporate crimes, and cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
It was further contended that he has no complaints or court cases against him and the petition challenging his appointment is devoid of merits.
Source: Bar and Bench