CBI vs CBI: SC verdict on Tuesday

CBI vs CBI: SC verdict on Tuesday

Alok Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court would on Tuesday pronounce its judgement on a plea by senior IPS officer Alok Verma and NGO 'Common Cause' against the orders issued on October 23 divesting him of the power as the CBI director.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph had on December 6 reserved its judgement in the matter.

During the hearing, the top court had said it would adjudicate upon a legal point if the Union government has the power to divest the CBI chief of his powers without taking a sanction from the high-powered committee that appointed him.

The CBI director is appointed by the Union government for a fixed tenure of two years on a recommendation from a selection panel of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition.

The court had earlier questioned the Centre and the Central Vigilance Commission for taking an "overnight" action against Verma, without taking a nod from the selection panel.

The court had also allowed the Central Vigilance Commission to continue its probe against Verma on a complaint filed by special director Rakesh Asthana but appointed former SC judge, Justice A K Patnaik to supervise it.

After going through the inquiry report, the court had on November 18, said it can be categorised as “very complimentary on some charges", "not so complementary on some charges”, “very uncomplementary on some charges” and “some charges required further probe”.

The government had maintained it had to send both Verma and Asthana on leave as extraordinary and emergent situation had arisen, as both the top officers openly fought against each other, affecting the faith of the people reposed in the premier investigating agency.