Hours after the Supreme Court quashed its order sending CBI Director Alok Verma on leave and reinstated him, the government initiated efforts to convene the high-powered committee that is to take a call on Verma’s future. The meeting is likely to take place at 8pm today.
The committee comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. CJI Gogoi has, however, nominated Justice AK Sikri in his place.
Sources said the government has sought time from members of the high-powered committee, that chooses and appoints CBI director, to meet at the earliest. It approached Congress leader Kharge on Tuesday evening itself to attend the meeting of the committee Kharge, it is learnt, has sought more time to study the order to be prepared for the meeting.
According to sources, Kharge, who was busy in the Lok Sabha that sat till late last evening to pass the 10 per cent quota bill, said he would need more time to read the judgment and its implication so that he would be able to put forth his party’s view effectively in the meeting.
Kharge has suggested that the meeting could be held on January 11.
In a major setback to the government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the October 23 order of the CVC and the government divesting Verma of his powers and functions. Reinstating Verma at the post, the apex court said both the CVC and the government acted outside their authority to unilaterally divest Verma and appoint interim CBI director Nageshwar Rao, a decision taken by the government after midnight of October 23.
In the order, the Supreme Court has also said that issue of Verma’s divestment was “still open” and asked him not to take any major policy decisions.