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‘None of You Deserve a Hearing’: SC Furious With ‘Leak’ of Alok Verma’s Reply

Alok Verma’s lawyer Fali S Nariman told the court that he was "shattered" and "shocked" on the reply being leaked in the media.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 20, 2018, 4:53 PM IST

New Delhi: The running feud in the CBI took an intriguing turn on Tuesday before the Supreme Court, which expressed anguish against agency's chief Alok Verma at certain leaks and said it would not let people use the apex court as their platform to say anything.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, declined a hearing to Verma on Tueday, saying the court's attempt to protect the interest of the institution and the individuals have been defeated by the leaks to the media.

"This court is not a platform for people to come and say whatever they want to. This is a place for adjudication of legal rights. We want to set it right... We will settle it once for all," CJI Gogoi told senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, who wanted to clarify on behalf of Verma.

On Tuesday, when the hearing began, the bench handed over copy of a news report by website The Wire that contained details of the response by Verma to the CVC when the inquiry under the Supreme Court order was underway.

Nariman said the report is "disturbing" and that it was worrying that everyone had been trying to snoop.

The senior lawyer also submitted that the lawyer, who mentioned the case on Monday asking for more time to file Verma's reply to the CVC inquiry report, was "not authorised".

The bench, also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, however, was in no mood to grant Verma a hearing.

"We don't think anyone of you deserves a hearing today," said the court, adjourning the case to November 29.

Minutes later, Nariman showed up before the bench again and sought an opportunity to clarify.

The court took up the matter subsequently when Nariman tried to convey that the media report was about Verma's reply to the CVC.

Advocates Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Pooja Dhar, at this juncture, intervened, disputing Nariman's contention that they were not authorised to seek adjournment on behalf of Verma.

Sankarnarayanan told the court that he wants to clear his name and that his client had authorised to mention the matter on Monday.

At this, Justice Gogoi remarked that as far as this court is concerned, "Nobody is under the cloud so far".

The CJI also told Nariman: "We have been trying to protect the institution and wanted to maintain confidentiality but your client give away everything."

The bench also referred to a plea filed by CBI DIG MK Sinha, which has dragged NSA Ajit Doval and many others into the ongoing rift.

Justice Kaul added: "Our effort was to maintain sanctity of the institution but it is not shared by anyone here...our object of trying to maintain confidentiality has been defeated."

CVC's counsel and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also wanted to intervene to say something but the bench said it will not hear anybody on Tuesday.

The court will not hear the case on November 29 when Verma's reply to the uncomplimentary charges by the CVC is expected to be taken up for scrutiny.

The bench had earlier ordered for keeping the CVC report as well as Verma's reply confidential, pointing out it was concerned about sanctity and public confidence in the CBI.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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