New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear next week a plea by an NGO challenging the January 10 order of the government appointing IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as interim director of the CBI.

The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, appealed to the bench, also comprising Justices NL Rao and and SK Kaul, to hear the plea this on 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.

CBI's additional director Rao was given the charge of interim chief on January 10 till the appointment of a new director after a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Kumar Verma as the chief of the probe agency on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty.

Who is M Nageswara Rao?

  • Mannem Nageswara Rao is an IPS officer of the Odisha cadre.
  • His first posting was as a Sub-Divisional Police Officer in Odisha's Talcher in 1989-90, where he demonstrated his tough-cop qualities.
  • Rao played an active role in releasing the lodhas, a de-notified criminal tribe in Mayurbhanj district, from the vicious cycle of 'crime-police-courts-jail-crime'.
  • He was the first officer in Odisha to use DNA fingerprinting in crime investigation while probing a rape case in Jagatsinghpur district in 1996.
  • Rao served as the head of the Odisha Fire Service. 
  • Rao received a chief minister's award for his work during cyclones Phailin in 2013 and Hudhud in 2014.
  • He is the recipient of the President's Police Medal for Meritorious Service, President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Special Duty Medal, and Odisha Governor's Medal.

With PTI inputs