SC Adjourns Hearing Of Petitions Against Removal Of CBI Director Alok Verma To Friday
The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S. K. Kaul adjourned to Friday the hearing in the plea of CBI Director Alok Verma against the October 23 orders of the CVC and the Central government divesting him of all powers and functions and giving charge to M. Nageshwara Rao in the meantime.
Also listed was a PIL by NGO Common Cause challenging the aforesaid decisions of the CVC and the Central government, besides seeking a direction for the removal of CBI Special Director Mr. Rakesh Asthana “in light of serious corruption cases pending against him in order to ensure institutional integrity”.
On Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought the court’s indulgence, praying that the matter be listed sometime next week, in view of inability to file the CVC report in due time.
“The exercise was over on the tenth (of November). We wanted to file yesterday.....we were given time till 11:30 but we were late by one hour....”, he advanced.
“The office was kept open on a Sunday till 12:30. You did not even send a message that you may be delayed? All our registrars were sitting here”, remarked the Chief Justice.
“I am not complaining, only explaining why we cannot assist Your Lordships today”, replied the SG.
“It is surprising that they could open the offices till 2 AM to pass the orders (of October 23) but could not file the report”, commenter Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing on behalf of the NGO Common Cause.
The bench proceeded to take on record the CVC report as submitted in a sealed cover on Monday as well as the report of the orders passed by the Acting Director.
Further, Mr. Dave contended that though the court has restrained the Acting Director from taking any major policy decisions, some investigators continue to be changed. When Justice Kaul observed that a report in the same behalf has already been sought, Mr. Dave pointed out that the said report only pertains to the dates from October 23 to October 26.
“ if you are aware of any such decisions which you think are in violation of our order, bring them to our notice. That was the spirit of the order”, asserted the Chief Justice.
The apex Court had on October 26 issued a string of interim measures-
• the inquiry in respect of the allegations made in the note of the cabinet secretary as regards the present CBI director Alok Verma shall be completed by the CVC within a period of two weeks;
• The inquiry will be conducted under the supervision of a retired judge of the apex court, Justice B. K. Patnaik;
• Mr. M. Nageshwar Rao, who has been entrusted with the task of looking after the duties of the CBI director, shall from now on not take any policy or major decisions and will only perform the routine processes to keep the CBI functioning; and
• A list of all decisions taken by Mr. Rao between October 23 and today and after this hour, including transfers of investigations, change of Investigating Officers etc will be furnished to this court in a sealed cover on November 12.
Read the Order Here