New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear next week a plea filed against M Nageswara Rao’s appointment as interim Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The plea also sought transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the CBI Director.

NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj had approached the apex court through senior advocate Prashant Bhushan.

Bhushan appealed to the bench, also comprising Justices NL Rao and SK Kaul, to hear the plea this Friday. The CJI told Bhushan that it was “definitely not possible” to hear the matter on Friday and the plea would be heard next week.

Rao’s elevation had come when the Government stepped in during the very public spat between Director CBI Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana which reached the court.

He is a 1986 batch IPS officer from Odisha cadre. He was appointed as Joint Director in the CBI on April 7, 2016. Rao belongs from Warangal district in Telangana and is a chemistry post graduate from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He was not considered for the rank of the additional director in November 2016 or when a review of this batch took place in April 2018.

On January 10, the high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi shunted Alok Verma out as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer was removed from the high-profile post on the charges of corruption and dereliction of duty making him the first chief in the history of the agency to face such action, officials said.

There were eight counts of charges against him in the CVC report presented before the Committee also comprising Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.