New Delhi: A Supreme Court (SC) bench-led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will on Friday hear a plea filed by Alok Verma against the government’s order of relieving him of charge as CBI Director. While Verma is likely to produce details of “extremely sensitive” cases to the apex court today, Congress will hold protests outside all CBI offices across the country, demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Following much agitation, CBI official spokesperson earlier on Thursday said that Verma will continue to remain CBI Director while Rakesh Asthana will remain the Special Director. However, M Nageshwar Rao will continue to look after duties and functions of the CBI Director in the interim period till the time CVC looked into the allegations.
Congress to hold a protest outside CBI offices across the country
The Congress will be holding protests outside all CBI offices across the country today. Members of the party will stage a protest demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also ask the ‘reinstatement’ of CBI director Alok Verma who was sent on leave, as per sources.
Top Congress leaders will be part of the protest outside the CBI headquarters in the national capital, while state leaders, including state party chiefs, will take part in similar protests.
Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Modi over CBI issue
Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Modi over the CBI issue and termed the ‘removal’ of the CBI Director as ‘illegal and criminal’. Gandhi said that the PM knew that CBI chief was to begin an inquiry into Rafale fighter jets deal and this made him scared and in turn, PMO forced the CBI Director to go on leave at 2 AM to bury the corruption track.
He further said that the move was an insult to the Constitution of India as the PM did not consult with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Leader of Opposition before taking the action.
BJP hits back at Rahul Gandhi over his remark on CBI issue
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of manufacturing lies every day on the Rafale fighter jet deal. It also claimed that the leader is in hallucination as his party has lost relevance.
For the unversed, Alok Verma had filed a petition in the apex court on Wednesday stating that the CBI’s autonomy was being compromised as it was against the law mandate to remove a CBI Director before the completion of his tenure.
Calling the government’s action “patently illegal“, he had said that certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government. He urged the court to refrain the Centre from interfering saying that ‘not all influence that is exerted by the political government would be found explicitly or in writing. More often than not it is tacit and requires considerable courage to withstand.”
Verma had moved the court hours after the government sent him on leave from his position as the CBI director and named M Nageshwar Rao the interim director. Action against both Verma and Asthana cropped and turned into an ugly battle after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), on receipt of a complaint on August 24, 2018, containing various allegations against the senior functionaries of the CBI served three separate notices (under section 11 of CVC Act, 2003) on September 11, 2018 upon the Director, CBI to produce files and documents before the Commission on September 14, 2018.