The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday the version of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was directed to complete within two weeks its preliminary inquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave by the Centre.
The hearing assumes significance as Verma, who has a running feud with Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, has appeared before the three-member CVC headed by K V Chowdary and is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled against him by his deputy.
Verma’s plea, which had been heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on previous occasions, is now listed for hearing on November 12 before a two-judge bench comprising the CJI and Justice S K Kaul.
The decision that a smaller bench would hear the case has come after the CJI, in his recent informal interaction with journalists, said that on Mondays and Fridays, when the apex court hears miscellaneous cases, only two-judge benches would sit.
The court had appointed former apex court judge A K Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma.
Verma and Asthana on Friday blamed each other for corruption while defending themselves as they deposed before a panel headed by Chowdary.
In an hour-long examination before the enquiry committee comprising Chowdary, retired Supreme Court judge A.K. Patnaik and Vigilance Commissioners Tejendra Mohan Bhasin and Sharad Kumar, Verma denied the allegations levelled against him by Asthana, informed sources said.
Verma, who appeared at the Central Vigilance Commission headquarters, told the panel that Asthana had made frivolous complaints against him because there was an FIR pending against him (Asthana) and he feared he would be arrested.
Refuting allegations of corruption against him, Verma said his actions were in the interest of the probe against Asthana.
Verma had on Thursday too appeared before the enquiry committee but the meeting was postponed for Friday due to the non-availability of a Vigilance Commissioner.
Earlier this week, Verma responded in writing to a questionnaire sent by CVC but the panel was not satisfied with his reply and sought his physical appearance.
(With agency inputs)