New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would hear next week a challenge to the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Asthana was appointed special director of the agency on 22 October, 2017.

The curative petition mentioned for listing by lawyer Prashant Bhushan before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will be heard in the judge’s chamber on 11 December.

The petition by NGO Common Cause was brought against an order of the apex court of 28 November, where it had dismissed a challenge to Asthana’s appointment. A bench comprising Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre upheld Asthana’s appointment and said it would not invalidate it based on unverified diary entries against him.

The plea had claimed the appointment to have been illegal, mala fide and in violation of institutional integrity. The appeal cited allegations of corruption against Asthana for his involvement in the Sterling Biotech case.

The apex court is also hearing a batch of petitions, including one by the Prashant Bhushan-led Common Cause, which has challenged the order sending CBI director Alok Verma on leave and divesting him of all powers.

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