CBI vs CBI: SC orders CVC inquiry into allegations against Alok Verma

Larry Hoffman
October 28, 2018

Retired judge A K Patnaik, who will supervise the CVC probe against CBI Director Alok Verma, was once a member of a constitution bench that is credited with giving new wings to the "caged parrot" by scrapping the need for the agency to take the government's permission for acting against senior officers.

Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing on behalf of NGO Common Cause, had indicated the CVC's own approach, in context of Mr. Asthana's appointment as the CBI Special Director a year ago, of not taking view of complaints received against an officer at the last instant on the verge of Appointment except in cases of proved misconduct.

The Congress leader alleged the Modi government of destroying institutions like the CBI, the Election Commission and the Enforcement Directorate. A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph will examine the legality of midnight decision taken by the government.

Before courting arrest, the Gandhi scion had said that the Congress would "not allow chowkidar to do chori".

Nariman referred to the CVC and Centre's orders divesting Verma of his duty. For transfer of the CBI Director, section 4B (2) of the Act of 1946 envisages previous consent of the Committee.

The 1986 batch IPS officer Nageswar Rao, who had been entrusted to look after the director's role for the interim period, has been ordered not to take any major policy decisions and will only perform the routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functioning.

This decision by the Central government to send Verma on leave came in the wake of the internal crisis that has plagued the CBI after it registered an FIR against its joint Director Rakesh Asthana.

Gandhi, who led the almost one-kilometre protest march of hundreds of Congress workers from Dala Singh College to the CBI headquarters in the national capital, also tweeted pictures of the protest march and him sitting at the Lodhi Road police station and said, "No matter how hard the government tries, it will not be able to cage the truth".

Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India´s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and president of the Congress party, was briefly taken to a Delhi police station after leading a march by hundreds of supporters to the CBI headquarters. The court also issued notices to the Centre on both petitions.

Asthana was also divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday. Four IB men were caught snooping on Verma hours after he was sent on long leave in what was described as a constitutional coup. Both Asthana and Verma had been summoned by the PM on Sunday and Monday, respectively, to find a resolution.

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