New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday would be hearing CBI director Alok Verma’s plea challenging the government’s order that sent him on a leave in view of the corruption charges against him. (Also read: Patiala Court Extends Judicial Custody of Middleman)
With regard to the charges against Verma, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was likely to consider the report of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) placed before it. The bench also has, before it, the report of acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao on the decisions taken by him between October 23 and 26.
On November 12, the CVC had filed in the apex court its preliminary enquiry report.
Allegations have been levelled against Verma by his deputy Asthana against whom an FIR has been lodged by the CBI on graft charges. Asthana was also sent on leave by the Centre.
On October 26, the top court had appointed Justice Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma. The apex court had issued notices to the Centre and the CVC, seeking their replies on Verma’s petition challenging the government’s decision to divest him of his powers as CBI chief and sending him on leave.
On October 26, it had also set a deadline of two weeks for the CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against the CBI director.
Besides, it had barred Rao from taking any major policy decision but granted him liberty to perform routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functional.
Asthana has also moved the apex court with a separate petition in the matter and has sought removal of Verma from the post of CBI Director.
On November 4, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had moved the top court contending that divesting Verma of his statutory powers and functions is “completely illegal and arbitrary”.
In an interlocutory application filed in the pending petition, Kharge, who is also a member of the three-member selection committee which appoints the CBI director, said that “as a concerned stakeholder he brings to the attention of the court the brazen and illegal actions” of the political executive in interfering with the independent functioning of the CBI director.