The Supreme Court on Friday appointed one of its former judges, Justice A.K. Patnaik, to supervise the inquiry into the allegations against CBI Director Alok Verma while giving two weeks time to the CVC to complete the probe.
Making it clear that prolonging the inquiry was not in the nation’s best interest, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph said the inquiry would be conducted on the allegation contained in the Cabinet Secretary’s note to the CVC.
The apex court was hearing Verma’s plea against the government for divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave following an ongoing spat between the top officials.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi further ruled that M Nageswar Rao, the new interim CBI Director will not take any policy decisions till the Supreme Court hears the matter again.
Rao shall only perform the routine task, the court said, adding that all the decisions he has taken since being handed the charge in a post-midnight government order must be furnished in a sealed cover before the court.
The top court will take up the case for subsequent hearing on November 12.
Fali Nariman, who is representing Alok Verma in the court, submitted that the “order passed by the CVC and Union Government was without any authority under the law.”
Verma further argued in his petition that the Supreme Court had ruled in the past that the CBI director should have a fixed minimum tenure of two years.
“Present case is concerned with whether his tenure of two years could be breached at any time,” Fali Nariman told the apex court.
In an unprecedented move, the Central Bureau of Investigation divested Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana from their duties on Wednesday as the two hit out at each other over bribery accusations in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi money laundering case.
Following this, CBI Director Alok Verma had moved the Supreme Court challenging the probe agency’s decision.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Asthana for allegedly accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was related to Moin Akhtar Qureshi case.
Interestingly, before being named in the alleged case of bribery, Asthana had filed a complaint against CBI Director Alok Verma accusing him of corruption and irregularities in 10 cases.