In a major setback for the government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as the CBI Director after it set aside the Central Vigilance Commission's October-23 order divesting him of the CBI chief's powers. However, the Supreme Court said that Verma can't take major decisions till the high-powered select committee comes out with its views on the action taken against him.
Raising objections over Alok Verma's removal, the Supreme Court has said the government should have referred to the Select Committee comprising the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to initiate Alok Verma's removal. The judgement was pronounced by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph on behalf of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who is on leave. Verma's two-year tenure as the CBI Director ends on January 31.
"The Supreme Court has today quashed the government and CVC's decision to divest Alok Verma from the powers of the CBI director. Despite restoring him, the court has also said he can't take major policy decisions till the high-powered panel comprising the PM, Leader of Opposition comes up with its report. But, unfortunately, and strangely, he will not be able to take major policy decisions, so it's a partial victory," said senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
He said that he will be able to take normal decisions related to the ongoing and pending cases, as they don't come in major policy decisions. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the SC reinstating CBI director Alok Verma is a direct indictment of the PM.
SC reinstating CBI director Alok Verma is a direct indictment of the PM. Modi govt has ruined all institutions and democracy in our country. Wasn't CBI director illegally removed at midnight to stall the probe in Rafale scam which directly leads to PM himself?- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 8, 2019
Meanwhile, the Congress party also said that it hails the Supreme Court's verdict lambasting the government against their illegal removal of Alok Verma as CBI Director.
We welcome the Supreme Court's verdict lambasting the govt. against their illegal removal of Alok Verma as CBI Director.
The SC has reinstated Alok Verma as director. https://t.co/4d2IvnnJ2x- Congress (@INCIndia) January 8, 2019
Last month, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and the CVC what was the "grave exigency" that prompted the "overnight" decision to divest Alok Verma of his powers as the CBI Director over his bitter feud with Special Director and number 2 of the premier investigation agency, Rakesh Asthana.
In a first such case in the history of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the two top bosses, Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana, were "divested of all powers" and sent on leave as a bitter spat between them intensified on October 24. The government had appointed Nageshwar Rao as the interim CBI director. Now the Supreme Court has also set aside the appointment of Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI chief.
Edited by Manoj Sharma