The Supreme Court is hearing Alok Verma’s plea challenging the government’s order divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave. CJI, Ranjan Gogoi led a 3-judge bench has been set up.
Earlier on October 26, the Supreme Court had asked the CVC to complete within two weeks its inquiry into allegations against Verma leveled by CBI special director Rakesh Asthana.
In the beginning of the hearing, Verma distanced himself from DIG Manish Kumar Sinha’s allegations against NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and CVC KV Chowdhury of attempts to interfere in the probe against Asthana.
The bench is likely to consider
– the response of Verma given in a sealed cover on the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in the preliminary inquiry against him.
– the report of acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao also filed in a sealed cover in the court with regard to the decisions taken by him from October 23-26.
Besides the plea filed by Verma, the court is also likely to hear the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which has sought a probe by a special investigation team against CBI officers.
Verma and Asthana have been sent on leave by the government. Verma has challenged the government’s decision divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave.
The CVC had recently examined some CBI officials probing crucial cases which figured in Asthana’s complaint of corruption against the CBI’s chief Verma, they said.
The officials said CBI personnel from the rank of inspector up to superintendent of police were called and their versions recorded before a senior CVC official. These officials included those who had handled the Moin Qureshi bribery case, the IRCTC scam, involving former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, the cattle smuggling case in which a senior BSF officer was caught with wads of cash in Kerala.
The Supreme Court had directed that the CVC’s inquiry into the allegations against Verma would be conducted under the supervision of retired SC judge Justice A K Patnaik and this was a “one-time exception”.
The feud between Verma and Asthana escalated in October and is getting murkier by the day.
Allegations and counter allegations have been leveled against one another.
The Credibility of the Institutions has been the main casualty. The Supreme Court during hearings remarked, ‘Nothing shocks us.’
Also read: Earlier reports