CBI Director Alok Verma Monday submitted his response on the findings of an inquiry, conducted against him by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had on November 16 given Verma time till 1 pm Monday to file his response to the report, which had said that “some charges (against Verma) require further probe”.
Appearing for Verma, advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan had sought a few more hours to file the report, but later managed to file it on time. The bench had on November 16 said that the CVC report “can be categorised into four — very complimentary on some charges, not so complimentary on some charges, very uncomplimentary on some charges, and some charges require further probe”. The bench, which also comprised Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, had directed that Verma be given a copy of the report in a sealed cover so that he can file a reply.
Verma has challenged the October 23 order by which he was divested of his charge following differences with Special Director Rakesh Asthana. The government had also sent Asthana on leave.
The court is set to hear the matter again Tuesday. Hearing the petition by Verma on October 26, the court had given the CVC two weeks to complete the enquiry against him.
After studying the CVC enquiry report, the bench on November 16 said: “Pursuant to the order of this court dated 26th October, 2018, the CVC has filed a report in sealed cover. We have perused the report of the CVC. We are of the view that, at this stage, and before taking any decision thereon a copy of the report of the CVC (along with Annexures thereto) should be furnished by the registry of this court, in sealed cover, to the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner — Alok Kumar Verma… We order accordingly, it will be open for the petitioner, Alok Kumar Verma, to file his response to the said report of the CVC again in sealed cover”.
It had added that the course of action was “considered necessary by the court keeping in mind the need to preserve and maintain the sanctity of the institution of the CBI and public confidence in the said institution. We also make it clear that the present order, requiring furnishing the report of the CVC in sealed cover to the learned counsel for the petitioner, is being made in the peculiar facts of the case and as a one-time measure”.