Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Wednesday nominated Justice A K Sikri to the Selection Committee that will review the case against CBI Director Alok Verma. The three-member committee also comprises the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
The nomination comes a day after the Supreme Court set aside a government order divesting Verma of his powers, and left it to the high-powered committee to consider the matter “at the earliest and, in any case, within a week from the date of this order”. In the meantime, Verma has been restricted from taking any major policy decisions.
Verma had moved the SC against his divestment, arguing that the government should have approached the selection committee, tasked with appointing the CBI Director, before initiating action against him.
To this, the government had contended that the role of the committee was only in the appointment of the CBI Director. The SC, however, said “no provision with regard to interim suspension or removal is to be found in the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act, 1946 (under which the agency was established)”.
The court added, “if the legislative intent would have been to confer in any authority of the State power to take interim measures against the Director, CBI… surely, the legislation would have contained enabling provisions to that effect”.
Under the Lokpal Act, the CJI can depute a representative if he is unavailable.
The Lokpal Search Committee’s decision could either be unanimous or divided with a member recording a note of dissent.