SC says yet to study CVC re­port in CBI case

The Gulf Today - - ASIA - BY RESMI SIVARAM

NEW DELHI: The CBI vs CBI case has been ad­journed to next Wed­nes­day - Dec.5. Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) Di­rec­tor Alok Ku­mar Verma had ap­proached the court against gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to di­vest him of du­ties and send him on leave un­til that date.

The bench of Chief Jus­tice Ran­jan Go­goi, Jus­tices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said the court is yet to ex­am­ine the in­quiry re­port sub­mit­ted by the Cen­tral Vig­i­lance Com­mis­sion (CVC) on Verma. “If nec­es­sary all par­ties will be given op­por­tu­nity to re­spond,” the judges said.

Verma did not get a stay against the gov­ern­ment or­der, but the court has asked the CBI to keep a record of all trans­fers made af­ter he was sent on forced leave.

Verma’s lawyer, Se­nior bar­ris­ter Fali S. Na­ri­man, coun­tered the court’s ar­gu­ments about the leak of some court pa­pers on the case last week. Verma’s re­sponse to the CVC’S in­d­ings against him had found their way into the me­dia. Na­ri­man as­serted that the court can­not pro­hibit pub­li­ca­tion of the con­tent of the pe­ti­tion as Ar­ti­cle 19 of the Con­sti­tu­tion is para­mount and added, “If I ile some­thing to­mor­row in the Registry then it can be pub­lished.”

He also re­ferred to the top court’s 2012 judg­ment in a case on the is­sue. He added that if the top court later pro­hibits then the mat­ter can­not be pub­lished.

The judges re­minded that Verma did not get a clean bill in the vig­i­lance re­port.

The CVC probe against Verma was su­per­vised by for­mer Supreme Court judge AK Pat­naik and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was com­pleted on Nov.10.

Na­ri­man ar­gued that the gov­ern­ment’s or­der strip­ping Verma of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties had no ba­sis. Verma was ap­pointed on Feb.1, 2017 and “the po­si­tion of law is that there will be a ixed ten­ure of two years and this gen­tle­man can­not be even trans­ferred.”

He pressed the ar­gu­ment that the CBI di­rec­tor can be re­moved only with the ap­proval of a com­mit­tee, and that the “gov­ern­ment or­der can­not stand in the ab­sence of per­mis­sion from the com­mit­tee.”

At­tor­ney Gen­eral KK Venu­gopal said Verma was never re­moved. “Alok Verma con­tin­ues to hold the sta­tus of CBI Di­rec­tor and en­joys all priv­i­leges and beneits of the post till date,” he said.

“The gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­ven­tion was to pro­tect the pub­lic conidence in CBI, which was get­ting neg­a­tive in view of the se­ri­ous ight be­tween two of its top ofi­cials. The in­ter­ven­tion was in pub­lic in­ter­est,” he said.

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