CBI Director Alok Verma resumed office Wednesday, over three months after he was sent on forced leave by the central government through a late-night order on October 23, 2018.
The Supreme Court Tuesday set aside the order of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Union government divesting CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma of his powers and functions, finding that it went against the “legislative intent” to “ensure complete insulation” of the CBI Director “from all kinds of extraneous influences”.
The court has, however, directed Verma not to take any policy decisions till the statutory committee meets within a week and decides further on the matter. The statutory committee comprises the Prime Minister, CJI and the Leader of the Opposition.
In a 1997 judgment, the Supreme Court had entrusted the task of selecting the CBI Director to the Committee, given the CVC Superintendence over the agency’s functioning, and fixed a minimum two-year tenure for the Director. Verma retires on January 31.
The October order also sent Verma’s deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana, booked by the agency on corruption charges, into exile in a first-of-its-kind move by the government in the agency’s history. The government had given charge to then Joint Director M Nageswara Rao who was later promoted as additional director in the agency. The Supreme Court has also set aside the appointment of Rao.
Verma had challenged the move in the Supreme Court which clipped the powers of Rao as director in-charge and barred him from taking any major policy decision till a final order comes from it.
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