Hours after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the CBI Director, Congress president welcomed the decision and launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Gandhi said that no one can save Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Rafale investigation and the entire nation will know “without a shadow of doubt” that he has taken Rs 30,000 crore of people’s money and given it to his “friend” Anil Ambani”.
“The CBI chief was ousted at 1 am in the night because he was about to begin a probe into the Rafale deal. The CBI chief has been reinstated and we have got some relief. Now let’s see what happens. They cannot run away from Rafale, it is impossible. Modi ji ran away from a debate. He should have discussed with us the Rafale issue, in the people’s court. No one can save them from Rafale, as Rafale is the truth. No one can run away from the truth,” Gandhi said.
The apex court reinstated Verma ordered that he cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till a decision is taken by a Committee under the DSPE Act within a week. The apex court confined Verma’s powers only to the exercise of ongoing routine functions without any fresh initiative, having no major policy or institutional implications.
While the opposition pounced on the government following the SC verdict, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the government’s decision to sent the two CBI top bosses on leave saying that it was taken on the recommendation of the CVC. “The government took this decision to protect the integrity of the CBI…Government took the action of sending two senior officers of CBI on leave on CVC’s recommendation,” Jaitley was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, in sharp criticism of the government, senior CPIM Sitaram Yechury said, “No other govt in independent India has tried to kill institutions the way Modi govt has, because it is scared of its massive corruption, cronyism, and illegalities at the very top being caught out.” Welcoming the apex court’s decision, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said it had restored faith in the independence of institutions. “(It) reinstates belief in independent institutions of our democracy that are its pillars,” Mehbooba said in a tweet. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the Centre should now stop “misusing” investigating agencies like the CBI and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for political ends.
Supreme Court senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said the Supreme Court order was a partial victory for Verma. “He has been restored but strangely he has been restrained from taking any policy decisions,” he said.