Supreme Court
Supreme Court

Probe against Verma to be completed in 2 weeks, interim chief can't take policy decisions: SC

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2018 13:10 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 26 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that an inquiry against Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma must be completed within two weeks and M Nageshwar Rao, who was appointed as the interim Director, cannot take any policy decision till court hears the matter again on November 12.
The top court ordered a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry under the supervision of retired Supreme Court Judge AK Patnaik.
"Inquiry in respect of the allegation made in the note of the Secretariat as regards the present CBI Director Alok Verma shall be completed by the CVC within a period of two weeks from today. The inquiry will be conducted by the retired SC judge AK Patnaik," Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi in his order stated.
"CVC will carry on probe in 10 days under the supervision of a judge of this court. M Nageshwar Rao shall perform only routine task. Change of investigating officer by CBI will be furnished in sealed cover on November 12 before Supreme Court. Rao will not take any policy decisions till Supreme Court hears the matter again" he added.
Senior lawyer General Fali S Nariman, who was representing Verma, had cited the Vineet Narain judgement to say that the CBI Director enjoys a protected two-year tenure. Nariman had also submitted that the "order passed by the CVC and Union Government was without any authority under the law."
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to CVC, the Centre and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana on their pleas.
Earlier in the day, Asthana had moved the Supreme Court challenging the central government's decision to send him on leave.
Earlier on October 24, Verma had moved the apex court against the Centre's leave order.
Gopal Sankaranarayanan, the lawyer appearing for Verma, had told the apex court that the Centre on Wednesday morning asked his client and Asthana to go on leave, hence compromising the investigation into various sensitive cases.
After a spell of infighting in CBI, the Centre divested Verma and Asthana from their roles and asked them to go on leave. Verma and Asthana were at loggerheads on several issues and accused each other of blocking investigation of several important cases.
Amid this tug of war, Rao, who was working as the Joint Director of the CBI, was appointed as the interim director with immediate effect.
The Centre's decision came after Asthana moved the Delhi High Court seeking the quashing of First Information Report (FIR) filed against him by the CBI. The court, however, ordered that no action would be taken against Asthana until next hearing, which is scheduled for October 29.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Asthana for allegedly accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was linked to Moin Akhtar Qureshi case. Asthana was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing Qureshi's case.
However, CBI official spokesperson yesterday confirmed that Verma will continue to remain as Director of the probe agency and Asthana to remain Special Director. Rao will look after duties and functions of the CBI Director in the interim period till the time the CVC looks into the allegations, he said. (ANI)