The plea will now be heard on January 24 by another bench.
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recused himself from hearing a plea challenging M Nageswara Rao's appointment as interim Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Gogoi has sought transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the CBI Director.
CJI Gogoi said he cannot hear plea as he would be part of the committee meeting to select the next CBI director.
.The plea will now be heard on January 24 by another bench.
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.
On January 10, Rao, additional director in the CBI, was made interim chief till the appointment of a new director. This was after a high-powered committee headed by PM Modi removed Alok Kumar Verma as chief of the probe agency on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty.
According to the plea, the order of October 23 last year appointing Rao as interim CBI director was quashed by the top court on January 8 but the government "acted in a completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner" to appoint him again in "complete contravention" of the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act.
It sought a direction to the Centre to appoint a regular CBI director forthwith by following the procedure laid down in accordance with the provisions of the DSPE Act, as amended by the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.