Conflicting claims emerge over Alok Verma’s removal
New Delhi: Two days after Alok Kumar Verma was removed from the post of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, two top judges related to the investigation against Verma have reportedly given contrary views.
Serving Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, representative of the Chief Justice of India in high power selection panel, reportedly claimed there were “prima facie findings of guilt” on some serious allegations against Verma contrary to retired SC judge Justice AK Patnaik’s claims that there were “no evidence of corruption”. In the meantime, Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge termed as a ‘mistake’ the removal of Verma as CBI head and accused the government of “destroying” the premier investigating the agency.
But both the judges — serving and retired — reportedly refuted Kharge’s claims that Verma was not getting proper hearing. Media reports quoted Justice Patnaik as saying, “Verma had access to all the documents and got a personal hearing.”
The media report also stated that Justice Patnaik claimed there was no evidence
The government did a mistake by removing the (CBI) Director without even calling a meeting .... They took action only on the basis of CVC report. Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader
against Verma regarding corruption and the entire enquiry was held on CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana’s complaint. He reportedly also claimed that none of the findings in the CVC report were his. He also said that what the CVC says cannot be the final word.
However, as per Justice Markandey Katju, a former Supreme Court judge and former colleague of Justice Sikri, Justice Sikri believed there were prima facie findings of guilt on some serious allegations against Verma and that his continuation as the Director of CBI had become untenable.
In the meantime, Kharge, member of the Selection Committee which shunted out Verma, said he was not given a chance to present his side. Kharge had submitted a dissent note questioning CVC findings. Interestingly, he had expressed his opposition even when the panel had decided to appoint Verma two years ago.
Justice AK Sikri refuted claims of retired SC judge Justice AK Patnaik who claimed there was no evidence of corruption against Alok Verma (above)