Asthana had also handled the probe in the case relating to the burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station in 2002.
New Delhi: Advocate Prashant Bhushan, through Common Cause has moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as CBI Special Director as being illegal, arbitrary, mala fide and in violation of the principle of impeccable and institutional integrity.
A Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, one of the key cases that Mr Asthana has been handling in the CBI was against Lalu Prasad Yadav, where the former railway minister has been accused of several irregularities in tenders during his term as railway minister in 2006.
He had also handled the probe in the case relating to the burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station in 2002, which resulted in the communal riots.
In its petition Common Cause said the attributes of institutional integrity have been held to be sine qua non for appointment to such a key position in an integrity institution such as the CBI.
Strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the statutory law in such appointments is necessary for upholding the rule of law and for enforcement of the rights of the citizens under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
It pointed out that on 28.06.2011, IT had conducted a search and seizure covering 25 premises of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech and Sandesara Group of Companies at Mumbai, Vadodara and Ooty. During the raid, certain documentary evidence were also found in the premises of the group at Mumbai and Vadodara.