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CBI vs CBI: Supreme Court orders govt to reinstate CBI Director Alok Verma

legal | Jan 8, 2019 10:48 AM IST

CBI vs CBI: Supreme Court orders govt to reinstate CBI Director Alok Verma

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma and ordered the government to reinstate him in his position as CBI director.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma and ordered the government to reinstate him in his position as CBI director.

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The SC ordered that the High Power Committee under DSPE Act has to act within a week to consider his case.
Despite the reinstatement, Verma will not be allowed to take any major policy decisions until the Committee takes a decision, according to Tuesday's ruling.
“We did not get the opportunity to read the order so they must have laid down the principle that it is for the committee to take the call or the committee has the decision-making power. So since the committee had not considered this, they have probably said we restore him without taking major decisions and the committee to take the final decision if they have the power under the orders of the court. So it is not a final outcome. We have to read the order to see what was the reason, which weighed with the court. What appears to be the case is this, that the powers of decision-making are with the committee, they will take a call and as we have in courts - interim arrangement - in the interim period he can go back but without taking major decisions or policy decisions, whatever expression the court has used,” said Gopal Jain, senior lawyer of Supreme Court.
The verdict was pronounced by Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as Chief Justice Gogoi was on leave. Justice Kaul read out the verdict authored by CJI Gogoi.
The top court delivered its verdict on CBI Director Verma's plea against the Centre's decision to divest him of powers and sending him on leave.
“Midnight operation at the behest of the Prime Minister (PM) where the central government by asking Verma to leave his position, go on leave, has been reversed by the highest court of land which in fact is a very big slap on the face of the government because the Selection Committee plays a very important constitutional position as far as the functioning of the CBI is concerned, their transfers, their appointment, their way of working and the central government by that act of high-handedness at midnight was in total defiance to that constitutional position. Therefore, it was expected that SC would set it right and unfortunately, now that the time is running very short, Verma has hardly a few days otherwise Selection Committee could have been convened and they could have decided that well Alok Verma would have been restored with all the powers that the Director of CBI enjoys but it is very sad that there are very few days left,” Majeed Memon, senior advocate, said.
The Centre had taken a decision against Verma and CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana after their feud become public as they made allegations of corruption against each other.
On October 25, the apex court directed a Central Vigilance Commission probe into the charges leveled, under the watch of Retired SC Judge Justice AK Patnaik.
The CVC submitted a report to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover, where the CJI observed that the findings were "mixed".
The two have been at loggerheads since the appointment of Asthana as the special director in October last year, number two in the CBI.
(With inputs from PTI)
 
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