Kharge challenges order to divest Verma as CBI chief

Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge. DH File Photo

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday approached the Supreme Court questioning the Union government's decision to divest senior IPS officer Alok Verma of his power as CBI director.

He contended that the order issued on October 23 without the due approval of a high-powered committee of Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India was "completely illegal, arbitrary and punitive".

He urged the top court to set aside the order, that was issued by the department of personnel and training. An ugly feud between Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana came out in the open, with charges and counter-charges, having been thrown against each other by both the officers, prompting the government to send both of them on leave.


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In an application, he said, "In view of Section 4A, Section 4B of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and the directions of this court in Vineet Narain’s case, it is clear that the tenure and term of the Director, CBI is protected and even the process of transfer cannot be effected without the previous consent of the Committee."

Kharge said, he, being a member of the statutory committee was not consulted nor was he a part of any meeting or privy to any decision to divest Verma of his powers as the director, CBI. It is also not in public domain that any such meeting of the Statutory Committee was convened, he said.

He said it was, therefore, clear that the decision to divest Verma of his powers as director, CBI was taken by the political executive in complete contravention of the provisions of the DSPE Act, CVC Act and the directions of this court in Vineet Narain’s case and as such ought to be set aside to maintain "the institutional sanctity and integrity of the CBI".

The said orders issued on October 23 also "seek to completely bypass the functioning of the Statutory Committee".

Notably, Verma, himself, challenged the government's order before the top court, which appointed former SC judge, Justice A K Patnaik to supervise an on-going probe by the Central Vigilance Commission against him, within two weeks.

Kharge's application filed in the Supreme Court is attached below:

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Kharge challenges order to divest Verma as CBI chief

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