The following week can turn out to be eventful for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as the selection panel is set to meet on 24 January to decide on the new CBI director.The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 16 January, agreed to hear a plea against M Nageshwar Rao’s appointment as the interim CBI director. The plea, which also sought transparency in the process of appointment, will be heard next week.The development comes two days after Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the only dissenter in the High-Powered Committee that ousted former CBI Director Alok Verma, wrote to the prime minister asking to release the findings of the CVC, Justice AK Patnaik’s report and the minutes of the 10 January meeting of the committee.PM Modi-led Selection Committee will meet on 24 January to appoint the new CBI directorKharge wrote to the PM asking for the CVC report and the High-Powered Committee meeting minutes to be made publicAlok Verma was removed as CBI director by the PM Modi-led Committee by 2:1 majority. The committee also included Justice AK Sikri and Mallikarjun Kharge (The Quint will no longer be on WhatsApp, owing to changes in its policies regarding news publishers. You can now get the latest news updates on our Telegram channel. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram.)The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce verdict on CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma's plea against the Centre's decision to divest him of his powers and sending him on leave on Tuesday, 8 January.The Centre had taken a decision against Verma and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana after their feud had become public as they had made allegations of corruption against each other.A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on 6 December reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on behalf of Verma, the Centre, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and others.The court had also heard the plea moved by NGO Common Cause which had sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the allegations of corruption against various CBI officials, including Special Director Rakesh Asthana.India’s ‘premier investigating agency’, Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, is buzzing with all the wrong news lately. CBI Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana are warring, the government is allegedly taking sides, third party interventions are suspected, and the Opposition is lapping up this ill-timed controversy. Honestly, it’s all very confusing.Here’s an explainer, from a parallel universe, about different people. Any resemblance to any person or organisation is definitely a co-incidence.From Rakesh Asthana to Alok Verma to Satish Babu Sana to Moin Qureshi – Here is a closer look at the key players in the CBI vs CBI controversyThe recent furore within the CBI has brought the country to a very critical juncture where we are staring at a question on the functioning of legal bodies and institutions in our country. The second biggest challenge is whether that political capital – accumulated enormously within the current government’s reach – will get demonetised.A court order stated that the judgment in CBI Director Alok Verma’s case will be delived by Justice Sanjay Kaul due to the unavailability of CJI Gogoi.Pronouncement of judgment in Alok Verma’s case commences in Supreme Court, according to Bar&Bench.The court cannot be oblivious to the directions contained in Vineet Narain judgment, said the court according to Bar&Bench. The court also said that the word "transfer" cannot be given its normal meaning and it has to be understood as encompassing acts affecting the functioning of the CBI Director.The court further said that the statute would have spelt it out if interim measures against CBI Director were permissible, Live Law reported.The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 8 January reinstated Alok verma as the CBI director, setting aside order passed by government divesting Verma of his powers.According to LiveLaw, the High Power Committee under DSPE Act is ordered to act within a week to consider his case. However, till final decision of statutory committee, he cannot take major policy decision.According to PTI, the court also set aside appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim chief of CBI.Supreme Court, while pronouncing the verdict in Alok Verma’s case, said that the government should have referred to the Select Committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to initiate Alok Verma’s removal.The apex court also said that any further decision against Verma would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints CBI Director.The Congress on Tuesday took to Twitter to welcome the Supreme Court verdict reinstating Alok Verma as the CBI director.AAP leader and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to welcome the verdict and called it a “direct indictment of the PM.”Congress leader Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to say this is the first time the Supreme Court has set aside an “illegal order” by a prime minister.Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the verdict in Alok Verma’s case is a lesson for the government.“We're not against one individual. We welcome SC's judgement. It's a lesson for the government. Today you'll use these agencies to pressurise people, tomorrow somebody else will, what will happen to democracy then?” he said.PDP leader and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the SC verdict on Alok Verma and said that the Centre needs to stop misusing its influence.Hinting at the alleged Rafale deal scam, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan took to Twitter to say that although the SC order stops Alok Verma from taking any major policy decisions, it will not stop him from registering FIRs and dealing with investigations.After the SC set aside government’s decision of divesting CBI director Alok Verma of his powers, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said that the decision was taken after recommendations by the CVC.“The government had taken this action of sending two senior officers of the CBI on leave on the recommendation of the CVC,” he said.After the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 8 January set aside government’s decision of divesting Alok Verma of his powers and reinstated him as the CBI director, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said that the decision was taken after recommendations by the CVC.“Supreme Court apparently has strengthened the immunity given to CBI director in larger interest of fair and impartial investigation. Therefore in accordance with direction of SC, orders will be complied with and the government will act in the same manner,” he said.He also said that the government has no stand on the court’s order of not allowing Verma to take any policy decisions till a decision by the statutory committee.Senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde hailed the SC verdict on Alok Verma, and said that the court stood up for the integrity and the independence of institutions in the country.Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal trained guns at Union Minister Arun Jaitley, saying that the Finance Ministry was twisting words after the Alok Verma verdict.“Midnight operation to remove CBI Director had an objective, it was to not let Alok Verma function. The operation failed, the decision of both Centre and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was held unconstitutional by SC,” he said.Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that CBI Director Alok Verma was divested of his powers as he was probing the Rafale deal.“CBI chief was removed at 1 am in the night because he was about to begin an investigation in the Rafale scam. Now that he has been reinstated, some justice has been done. Now let's see what happens,” he said.CBI chief Alok Verma is on his way to the CBI headquarters in New Delhi, reported ANI.A day after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the CBI director, he resumed charge of the investigating agency on Wednesday, 9 January.Verma was out of office for 77 days following the Centre’s order divesting him of powers.The High Powered Committee meet comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice AK Sikri and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has ended inconclusively, according to CNN-News18.Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recused himself from the committee, and instead nominated Justice AK Sikri.CBI Director Alok Verma has revoked most of the transfer orders issued by the then director in-charge M Nageshwar Rao, officials said, reported PTI.The official statement from CBI director Alok Verma, who on Wednesday, 9 January, revoked transfer orders made by M Nageswara Rao who was appointed as interim CBI Director said that Section 4 and 5 of transfer orders not withdrawn.(Source: ANI)CBI DIG MK Sinha, who was supervising a probe against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, has recused himself from taking charge of the investigation, officials said Thursday.In a fresh reshuffle ordered by CBI Director Alok Verma who resumed duty Wednesday after 77 days-long forced leave, Sinha was given charge of banking, securities and frauds cell, and AC-III unit, which is probing a corruption case against Asthana, the officials in the know told PTI, requesting anonymity.Suspended DSP Devender Kumar has approached the Delhi High Court against Verma's decision to reverse transfer of officers.The PM Modi-led High Powered Committee meeting, which will decide the fate of Alok Verma is underway.A day after resuming office, CBI Director Alok Verma ordered the transfer of five more CBI officers on Thursday, 10 January.While ANI reported that JD Ajay Bhatnagar, DIG MK Sinha, DIG Tarun Gauba, JD Murugesan & AD AK Sharma are the five officers who were transferred, TOI reported that the supervisory officers in Rakesh Asthana probe, Tarun Gauba and Murugesan have been retained.The Delhi High Court will pronounce the verdict on pleas of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and others seeking to quash bribery FIR against them on Friday, 11 January.CBI Chief Alok Verma appoints 2006 batch IPS officer Mohit Gupta as the probe officer in Rakesh Asthana's corruption caseAlok Verma removed as the CBI director by the PM Modi-led High Powered Committee.Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that the move to remove Alok Verma as CBI Director is a conspiracy by the Prime Minister’s Office.Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan slammed the PM Modi-led Panel’s decision to remove Alok Verma as CBI Director. He claimed that this is a desperate act to hamper the investigation in the Rafale scam.Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who was also part of the PM Modi-led Selection Committee, said that the outcome was ‘pre-decided,’ to India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai.“Modi and Sikri were hell bent to go by the CVC's version. There was no fresh material presented at the meeting, as it went only by the CVC report,” he added, referring to Justice AK Sikri, the Supreme Court judge representing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.The Congress slammed Prime Minister Modi and said that he is afraid of an investigation into the Rafale scam.BJP Spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that we have to respect the decision of the Selection Committee, speaking with India Today.BJP MP Subramanian Swamy backed the ousted CBI Director Alok Verma and questioned the difficulty in asking Alok Verma to defend himself, speaking with Times Now.“It’s elementary that whenever a charge is made against somebody, he should be given a chance to defend himself,” he said, defending Alok Verma.CVC did not sufficient material to probe the allegations, Kharge said, according to reports.According to Kharge's dissent note, out of ten allegations against Verma, six were found to be unsubstantiated or false by the CVC. Four allegations were found to be in need of further investigation, as an inconclusive finding was arrived at.CBI Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao will look after the duties of the CBI director till a new director is appointed, or until further orders, reported ANIAfter his removal as CBI Director, Alok Verma has been appointed as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guard.The panel took into account the extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against Alok Verma, ANI reported quoting sources. The panel was reportedly of the view that being the head of a very sensitive organisation, Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.ANI also reported that the CVC found evidence that Verma influenced the investigation in the Moin Qureshi case taking Rs 2 crore bribe. According to the news agency's sources, Alok Verma's conduct in the case has been found suspicious by the CVC and it felt there is a prima facie case against him.According to sources quoted by ANI, in the IRCTC case, CVC felt it can be reasonably concluded that Alok Verma deliberately excluded a name from the FIR, for reasons best known to him.The CVC also reportedly found evidence against him in several other cases and instances of wilful non-production of record.The committee also reportedly took note of Alok Verma's alleged attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity. ANI also reported that Verma was given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC, in presence of Retired Justice Patnaik.Mandate of the panel headed by the prime minister is limited to the appointment of CBI chief and the transfer of CBI chief. The panel felt that as a detailed investigation, including criminal investigation, was necessary, Verma's continuation as CBI Director was not desirable, according to sources quoted by ANI.Congress leader Anand Sharma in an address to the media said, “The CVC's actions on 23 October should be investigated. The outcome of today's meeting shows that the Supreme Court found nothing out of CVC's report. This raises questions on CVC whether it is acting upon the PMO's directions. The committee failed to provide justice.”Anand Sharma alleged that PM Modi was preparing a 'Suraksha Kavach' (protective shield) for himself and his friends, so that the contentious issues are not looked into for the next two years.“If PM had nothing to hide, CBI chief should have been allowed to continue. Of the CVC's allegations on Alok Verma, 6 were outright false, as found by the SC. The rest of the allegations too were based on circumstantial evidence,” Sharma added.Congress Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi has alleged that the hurried decision to remove Alok Verma as the CBI director, shows the desperation level of the BJP to ensure he does not probe the Rafale scam.Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said, “There is something murky going on which needs to be investigated, the Congress party has already objected to it. Something very suspicious about all this.”“Fear is now rampaging through Mr Modi’s mind,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, slamming Modi-led Panel’s decision to remove Alok Verma as CBI director.Alok Verma’s removal twice in a row, shows that Modi is a “prisoner of his own lies”, the Congress Chief said.Hitting out at the Congress over its attack on the Modi government following removal of CBI Director Alok Verma on corruption charges, the BJP called the party a “sore loser”, saying the party has been left to lick its wounds “after failing to subvert the central probe agency by joining internal personal battles”.BJP Spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, “Sore loser Congress is licking its wounds after failing to subvert the CBI by joining internal personal battles. The only investigation pending is of 'The Family' that received bribes from 'Mama Christian Michel' in multiple defence deals. Lies of Rahul Gandhi completely exposed.”Taking a dig at the Congress’s leader in Lok Sabha, Union minister Piyush Goyal tweeted, “Indeed, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge is a man of amazing consistency. When Shri Alok Verma was appointed CBI chief by the selection committee, he dissented. Now, when Shri Alok Verma has been removed by the same Selection Committee, he has dissented.”Nalin Kohli, BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court advocate, said the allegation of the Congress is not borne by facts.Attacking the Opposition party after its press conference targeting the prime minister, Kohli said, “It's not the PM who is worried as the Congress is trying to falsely allege. It's the Congress which is. Why else are they trying to discredit the CVC and it's findings? Those who demolish institutions and continue to attack them should not give pretentious lessons to the PM or the BJP.”Breaking his silence over the issue, Alok Verma, in a statement to PTI late on Thursday night, said the CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected.Verma termed it “sad” that he was transferred to another post pursuant to the orders of the committee on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to him”.Former CBI Director Alok Verma said that he tried his best to uphold the integrity of the institution despite attempts being made to destroy it.“The CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected. It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018 which were without jurisdiction and were set aside,” he said in a stetement.CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana's complaint to the CVC against former CBI director Alok Verma stated that Verma asked to clear a name, which was turned down.“Verification caused by Special Unit revealed adverse conduct on part of RP Upadhyaya. JD-Policy didn't recommend his induction even though Alok Verma asked him to clear the name, which was turned down,” it stated.Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said that Verma’s comments after his removal were "not in good taste"."Don't think Alok Verma's statements are in good taste. If PM and a senior SC judge, after seeing a CVC report, gave a decision, then it's not fair for Verma to say the decision is bad. The government should have settled this earlier. It has spoilt the name of the agency and the CBI,” he said.BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said that Rahul Gandhi is worried about CBI because of their investigation into the AgustaWestland scam.“Rahul Gandhi is crying more than Alok Verma in CBI matter, real investigation that is ongoing in the CBI is AgustaWestland and other defence deals, they're worried that CBI is getting at the truth and that's the reason Congress wanted to intervene in the CBI debate,” he said.The Delhi High Court will pronounce its verdict on pleas of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and others seeking quashing of FIR against them on bribery allegations.Justice Najmi Waziri had reserved the judgement on 20 December 2018 on various petitions after hearing submissions of the counsel for CBI, the Centre, Asthana, Deputy Superintendent Devender Kumar, CBI director Alok Kumar Verma and Joint Director AK Sharma.Senuor lawyer Prashant Bhushan will move SC challenging Nageswara Rao's appointment as Interim Director, Times Now reported.Interim CBI Chief Nageshwar Rao on Friday, 11 January, reversed the transfers that Alok Verma had ordered on 9 and 10 January after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court as the CBI director, The Times of India reported. Rao reversed the transfers after Verma was himself transferred out of the director’s post by the High Powered Selection Committee on Thursday, 10 January.Former CBI Chief Alok Verma refuses to take charge as DG, Fire Services. A statement says "natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director."Delhi High Court dismisses the pleas filed by Special Director Rakesh Asthana and DySP Devender Kumar’s seeking quashing of FIRs filed against them.CBI has been asked to conclude the investigation against Asthana and Devendra Kumar within 10 weeks.“No doubt, registration of an FIR against a public servant will be a cause of great concern and stress for the public servant. Charges under the FIR are a matter of investigation. It is important that law presumes a person is innocent until proven guilty,” the court said.Former CBI director Alok Verma on Friday, 11 January, resigned from the IPS after refusing to take over as DG Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guard, a post to which he was transferred by the High Powered Selection Committee on Thursday.Delhi High Court refuses to grant interim protection to CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana but asks CBI to maintain status quo for 2 weeks.Former CBI Director wrote a letter to the secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Friday saying that the Selection Committee has not provided him an "opportunity to explain the details as recorded by the CVC before arriving at the decision.""Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned (Alok Verma) is removed from the post of the Director CBI," he said.Verma also refused to assume the post of DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, pointing out that he "would have already superannuated as on 31 July 2017 and was only serving the Government as Director, CBI till 31 January 2019, as the same was a fixed tenure role."“The undersigned is no longer Director, CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today.”Alok VermaCongress on Friday welcomed the Delhi High Court's decision to dismiss the pleas filed by Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar seeking quashing of the FIR filed against them.CBI Chief Information Officer Abhishek Dayal has been transferred to Director Publications Division. Six joint directors have also been transferred, news agency ANI reported.Senior Indian Information Service officer Nitin Wakankar will take over as the new spokesperson of CBI, news agency PTI reported quoting officials.Justice AK Patnaik, the retired SC judge who was asked by the apex court to supervise the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) enquiry that led to the expulsion of CBI Director Alok Verma, on Friday told The Indian Express that there was “no evidence of corruption” against Verma. He also that the CVC cannot be the final authority on this decision.According to the Indian Express report, Patnaik was critical of the ‘very hasty’ decision of the PM Modi-led panel to remove Verma from the post of CBI Director, two days after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court.The report also said that PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri were against Verma continuing as the CBI chief in light of the CVC report. Mallikarjun Kharge, however, did not go along with the two members and filed a dissent note contesting the CVC report.The Narendra Modi government in December 2018 decided to nominate senior Supreme Court Judge AK Sikri to the vacant post of president/member in the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT), The Print reported.Sikri was recently in news after he was a part of the High Powered Selection Committee that transferred CBI Director Alok Verma after being reinstated to the post by the Supreme Court.Sikri will join the CSAT after his retirement as Supreme Court judge on 6 March, 2019.The members of the prestigious tribunal are appointed for a four-year term, which may be renewed for one more term.Congress has sought "immediate removal" of the chief vigilance commissioner, alleging that he had acted like a "puppet" in the hands of the government.Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a press conference at the AICC headquarters on Sunday, 13 January, said, the "CVC (central vigilance commissioner) should be sacked or tender his resignation", but the "CVC must go".The Congress also alleged that CVC K V Chowdary is being made to "act like a puppet" to avoid any probe into the Rafale case."The CVC has been acting like an ambassador, messenger of the government, and lobbying for Asthana (CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana). The CVC has forgotten that he is supposed to do vigilance for public good, and not be a 'vigilant' puppet into the hands of political masters," Singhvi alleged.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, along with NGO Common Cause, has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the appointment of Interim CBI Director Nageswara Rao, ANI reported.Four days after Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri’s vote helped decide the removal of Alok Verma from the post of CBI director, NDTV reported quoting sources that he did not want to be a part of the three-member selection committee, including PM Narendra Modi and Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge.Sikri, the second senior-most judge in the apex court after Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, withdrew his consent, on 13 January, to the government offer to nominate him for president/member of the CSAT.In a note to the prime minister, Mallikarjun Kharge demanded the release of the findings of the CVC, the Justice AK Patnaik’s report and the minutes of the 10 January meeting of the high power selection committee.The note alleged that the “manipulative actions of the government are directly causing deep embarrassment to the Judiciary,” Indian Express reported.Supreme Court on Wednesday, 16 January, agreed to hear a plea filed against M Nageshwar Rao’s appointment as interim Director of the CBI, reported news agency ANIThe plea which also sought transparency in the process of short-listing, selection and appointment of the CBI Director, will be heard next week.The High-Powered Selection Committee will meet on 24 January to appoint the new CBI director, reported ANI.PM Modi heads this committee, in which the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are the other members.The sources said the government had proposed the meeting on 21 January earlier while Kharge wanted the meeting on 24 or 25 January.After mutual consultations, the government has finalised 24 January as the date for the meeting to select the new CBI director, a post which has been vacant since Alok Verma transferred to be Director General Fire Service.IPS officer M Nageswara Rao was named the interim director of the CBI.Congress party has been attacking the prime minister for not appointing a regular CBI Director.Kharge had also written to the prime minister demanding early holding of the meeting of the high powered committee to appoint a regular CBI Director.Read full story here.