CBI Versus CBI: CVC Report on Asthana's Charges Against Alok Verma to Reach CJI Bench Today
The hearing assumes significance as CBI chief Alok Verma, who has a running feud with deputy Rakesh Asthana, has given point-wise refusal to all the allegations.
New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will on Monday receive the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry report on corruption charges against CBI director Alok Verma, who was divested of his duties and sent on leave by the Centre.
The hearing assumes significance as Verma, who has a running feud with Special CBI director Rakesh Asthana, has been appearing before the CVC and is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled against him by his deputy.
The report has been prepared under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik.
On October 26, the Supreme Court had set a two-week deadline for the CVC to complete the inquiry into the allegations against Verma.
The court had also barred M Nageswara Rao, who has been given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision. It also said that the decisions taken by Rao since October 23 till date would not be implemented.
Making it clear that Rao, who is a Joint Director of the CBI, would continue to do routine work to keep the agency functioning, the court had further said that the decisions taken by him will be placed before it in a sealed cover.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CVC, had said that the commission was in the process of conducting the inquiry and, keeping in view the large number of documents involved, 10 days would not be sufficient to complete the inquiry.
“We should get some reasonable and realistic time for the inquiry,” he had said.
Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Verma, had stated that that the CBI director was appointed for a two-year tenure with the approval of a selection panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
“The question is whether the tenure could be breached at any time?” Nariman told the bench and referred to the apex court’s 1997 Vineet Narain judgment and amendments in the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act under which the CBI was constituted.
The Vineet Narain decision, delivered by the Supreme Court in 1997, relates to investigation of allegations of corruption against high-ranking public officials in India.
Referring to the CVC’s order divesting Verma of his power, Nariman said the Centre had also passed an order on the same day appointing another person to perform duties of CBI chief.
The feud between Verma and Asthana escalated recently leading to registration of an FIR against Asthana and others, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in the CBI custody in an alleged bribery case.
The FIR was lodged on the basis of a written complaint by Satish Babu Sana on October 15. The complaint alleged that Kumar, the investigating officer (IO) in a case, was repeatedly calling him to the CBI office to “harass and compel him to pay bribe of Rs 5 crore” for giving him a clean chit.
Asthana and Kumar have both challenged the FIR in the Delhi High Court.
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