CBI vs CBI: SC orders CVC inquiry against Verma, wants report in 2 weeks
New Delhi, Oct 26: The Supreme Court has said that it will ask the Central Vigilance Commission to inquire into both the Director and Special Director of the CBI under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge, Justice A K Patnaik.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said that it would ask the CVC to complete the probe in two weeks. This is a matter of national importance and there cannot be any further delay. We want to see a preliminary probe report in ten days and then decide whether it would require further probe, the Bench also said.
The court also said that in the interim, the interim director of the CBI, M Nageshwar Rao will not take any decisions. He will only do a routine job to keep the CBI going, the Bench said. Further the Bench also asked the Centre to give it in a sealed cover the decisions taken till date by the interim director after he was given charge.
He court said, " inquiry in respect of allegations made in the note of the Secretariat as regards to the present CBI Director, Verma shall be completed in 2 weeks from today. The inquiry will be conducted by retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice A K Patnaik.
The court is hearing a petition filed by Alok Verma, who had challenged the decision of the government to send him on leave.
Earlier CBI special director, Rakesh Asthana moved the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the government that sent him on leave, following a spat with the agency's director, Alok Verma.
Verma is being represented by Fali Nariman, while Mukul Rohatgi argued for Rakesh Asthana. Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta is representing the CVC, while Attorney General K K Venugopal is arguing on behalf of the DoPT.
On Thursday, advocate, Prashant Bhushan challenged the decision of the government to send, CBI Director, Alok Verma on leave.
In his petition sought for the quashing of the CVC's orders on the basis of which the government divested Verma of his duties and functions in the CBI.
Bhushan also urged the court to tag his petition with the one filed by Verma. He also sought the removal of Rakesh Asthana from the CBI and sought for the setting up of an Verma in his petition said that the investigating officers of sensitive cases are being changed. Verma further said that there is a need for an independent CBI. Present circumstances occurred when certain investigation into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government. He said that he can furnish details of many cases which have led to the present circumstances. They are extremely sensitive in nature.
The CVC took an overnight decision to divest me completely of the CBI director's role. This is contrary to Section 4 B of the DSPE Act, which grants a secure term of 2 years to the CBI chief in order to ensure independence. The section also mandates the appointment of a CBI Director by a high powered panel of the PM, LoP and CJI. Further the committee's consent is also needed to transfer the CBI Director. This latest action bypass the mandate of the committee, he also said.
Following the ugly public spat, the government decided to send both Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave. Following this M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as the interim director with immediate effect.
In a late night order the government appointed Rao as the interim chief of the CBI. The order stated, " The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved that during the period of the subsistence of the aforesaid interim measure, cited in reference above, Shri M Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI shall look after duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over duties and functions with immediate effect."