CBI INFIGHTING: CVC submits inquiry report on Alok Verma to SC, next hearing on Friday

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NEW DELHI: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Monday filed its preliminary probe report relating to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma in a sealed cover in the Supreme Court.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul took the report on record and fixed the next hearing on November 16.
During the hearing, interim CBI Director M Nageswar Rao also filed his report on decisions taken by him from October 23 till date as head of the agency.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that former apex court judge A K Patnaik supervised the CVC inquiry which was completed on November 10.
The CJI observed that the Registry was open on Sunday also but no intimation was given to the Registrar regarding the filing of the report.
Later the SG tendered an apology and said though he was not explaining the circumstances there was a delay on their part in submitting the report.
During the past week, Verma appeared before a CVC three-member panel and presented the facts to all the allegations levelled against him by his deputy and Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana. Verma is understood to have denied all allegations against him.
Last month, the top court had appointed former SC judge A K Patnaik to supervise the ongoing CVC inquiry against Verma. It had barred IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who was given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision.
Verma’s deputy Rakesh Asthana, Special Director CBI, was also sent on leave by the Centre.
The court on October 26 had set a deadline of two weeks for the CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against the CBI director.
It had also barred Rao, who has been given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision.
It had added that a list of all the decisions taken by Rao since October 23 including decisions with regard to transfer of investigations, change of investigating officer(s) etc will be furnished to the court in a sealed cover on or before November 12, 2018 whereafter orders, as would be appropriate, will be passed by the court.
The SC was also seized of the PIL filed by NGO ‘Common Cause’, which sought a probe by a special investigation team against CBI officers including Asthana.
It had issued notices to the Centre, the CBI, the CVC, Asthana, Verma and Rao, asking them to respond by November 12.
Appearing for Verma, senior advocate Fali S Nariman cited the 1997 Vineet Narain judgement and said the CBI director was appointed for a two-year tenure with the approval of a selection panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
Asthana has also submitted a separate petition and sought removal of Verma from the post of CBI Director. The petition hasn’t come up for hearing, so far, in the apex court.