Verma moves SC over 'rapid fire' decision

Verma moves SC over 'rapid fire' decision

SC to consider plea on Friday

Alok Verma. PTI file photo

Hours after being divested of the charge as CBI director, senior IPS officer Alok Verma on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court, contending the “rapid fire” decision went against the statute and bypassed the sacrosanct order of a high-powered committee that appointed him.

In a writ petition, he contended he had complete confidence of his officers within the organisation and “any illegal interference of this nature not only erodes independence of the institution but also morale of its officers.”

The move came after Verma and CBI special director Rakesh Asthana were asked to go on leave, in a swift late night development, as an internal fight and recriminations between the two officers flung out in the open, sullying the reputation of the premier investigation agency.

“There are bound to be occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government,” Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer, contended.

He claimed “external interference” in the decision, saying “not all influence that is exerted by the political government would be found explicitly or in writing. More often than not, it is tacit and requires considerable courage to withstand.”

Giving background of on-going bickering, Verma said that the CBI director and all others have agreed to certain course in investigation but this special director has a different view. The hurdles posed by him (Asthana) have now been compounded by his complicity in concocting evidence to affect the reputation of the petitioner.

Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan mentioned Verma's petition before the top court's three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, for urgent hearing.

He said the officer got information on his "removal" at 6 am this morning. The court agreed to list the petition on Friday, refusing to give an immediate date.

In his short petition of seven-page, Verma sought a direction to quash the orders issued by the Central Vigilance Commission and the Department of Personal and Training on Tuesday removing him from the post and appointing joint director M Nageshwara Rao as CBI director as an interim measure.

“The impungned orders were manifestly arbitrary sans natural justice and without due process, thereby violating Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” his plea stated.

He claimed that after appointment of Asthana as a special director despite his reservations and pendency of cases against him, “certain investigations were stymied by Asthana alone”.

Many of these concerned very sensitive cases including those monitored by the apex court.

Verma also cited provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 that secured the two year period for the director's tenure notwithstanding anything to the contrary.

He also said his appointment by a high-powered committee of prime minister, leader of opposition and the CJI but no consent has taken for his transfer.

The writ petition is attached below:

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