SC Reinstates CBI Chief Alok Verma: Jaitley and Rahul React
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
On 8 January, CBI Chief Alok Kumar Verma was allowed to come back as CBI Director, albeit with clipped wings, by the Supreme Court which gave a jolt to the Centre and the CVC by setting aside their orders, divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.
However, the sword "of divestment of power and authority" of Verma is still hanging on his head as the apex court said it was "still open" for the high-powered committee, which selects the CBI chief, to consider the matter within a week since the CVC is probing the charges of corruption against him.
It also made it clear that on reinstatement, Verma will cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till the committee's decision.
The government had taken this action of sending two senior officers on leave on CVC’s recommendation. This action was taken perfectly bonafide as there were cross-allegations made by both the officers, and in accordance with recommendations of the CVC. The government felt that in the larger interest of fair and impartial investigation and credibility of CBI, the two officers must recuse themselves.Arun Jaitley, Finance Minsiter
The issue revolved around Verma’s feud with CBI's special director Rakesh Asthana as both had levelled charges of corruption against each other.
While Verma had moved the apex court against the government's orders, Asthana has not sought any relief from the top court but has moved the Delhi High Court for quashing of FIR against him in a corruption case.
Like Verma, Asthana was also divested of his powers and was sent on leave by the government.
In its 44-page verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "We deem it proper to direct that Verma, Director CBI, upon reinstatement, will cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till the decision of the committee permitting such actions and decisions becomes available within the time frame indicated." The bench, also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, asked the high-powered committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition to meet within a week.
Verma's two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on 31 January 2019.