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Vigilance Probe Report Against CBI Director Alok Verma 'Very Uncomplimentary' on Some Charges, Says SC

The comments of the bench made it clear that Verma has not been exonerated by the CVC and that the supervising body of the CBI would want to inquire further.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 16, 2018, 3:17 PM IST
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Vigilance Probe Report Against CBI Director Alok Verma 'Very Uncomplimentary' on Some Charges, Says SC
Alok Verma is seen at the Supreme Court in this file image. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Keeping Alok Verma's fate hanging in a balance, the Supreme Court on Friday observed that Central Vigilance Commission’s probe report has been "very uncomplimentary" on certain charges levelled against the CBI chief by his deputy Rakesh Asthana.

The Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench revealed in open court that there was no clean chit to Verma following the CVC inquiry, which has been supervised by former top court judge AK Patnaik.

"We have gone through the report. It is very exhaustive. It was complimentary on some charges, not so complimentary on some charges and very uncomplimentary on some charges against him," said Justice Gogoi during the proceedings.

The bench also observed that the CVC has asked for more time to investigate certain charges.

The comments of the bench made it clear that Verma has not been exonerated by the CVC and that the supervising body of the CBI would want to inquire further.

The Court then decided to share a copy of the report with Verma to enable him to file his response to the report.

Appearing for Verma, senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, accepted the Court's suggestion and agreed to reply to the contents of the report.

Nariman requested the bench to take up the matter without delay and said he would file his response by Monday itself. The veteran lawyer said he wanted a copy of the report in a sealed cover envelope and that he would also file Verma's reply confidentially.

Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre and the CVC respectively, also requested for a copy of the report.

The bench agreed to share the report with the two law officers but also maintained that utmost confidentiality of the report should be maintained.

It however shot down a plea by senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, for giving him a copy of the report as well.

In its order, the bench said that it is sharing and receiving documents in sealed cover envelopes since the Court deems it necessary "to preserve the sanctity and public confidence in the CBI".

The Court will now take up the matter on Tuesday. On examining the decision taken by interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao, the Court said it will look at it on the next date. Lawyers for Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and another CBI official AK Bassi also mentioned their plea for a hearing but the bench deferred it for a later day.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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