#CBIvsCBI: SC directs CVC to complete inquiry within 2 weeks
The Supreme Court, on Friday, ordered the Central Vigilance Commission to complete its investigation into divested CBI Chief Alok Verma within two weeks. CJI Ranjan Gogoi said the probe panel should be supervised by a sitting Supreme Court judge. The bench also gave green signal into the CVC probe of Rakesh Asthana. Further, it was directed that the interim CBI chief won't take any policy decisions. Here's all about the case.
Nariman tells order passed by Centre, CVC, didn't follow law
Senior advocate Fali Nariman, who represented Verma in court, explained that the case was concerned with the CBI Chief's tenure. "Present case is concerned with whether his tenure of two years could be breached at any time," he said and added order passed by CVC and Centre wasn't authorized by law. On this, the bench said that will be examined later. The top court will now take up the case on November 12.
Next date fixed for November 12
Supreme Court issues notice to CVC, the Centre and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana on their pleas; Next date November 12. pic.twitter.com/6Aok0uBtwx— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2018
Backstory: In dramatic move, Centre sent top officers "on leave"
Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana have been locked in a battle, with each one accusing the other of corruption. Acting on the controversy surrounding the premier investigating agency, the Centre, in a midnight order on Tuesday, sent both of them on 'compulsory leaves'. M Nageswar Rao was made the interim chief of the CBI. Verma approached SC after the decision.
Not all influence is in writing, Verma says in petition
Verma in his petition, filed in SC on Wednesday, termed the decision 'patently illegal', and said this move undermined the independence of the agency. He said not all influence exerted by the government is in writing. "More often than not, it is tacit, and requires considerable courage to withstand it," he said. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear the petition.
Separately, Prashant Bhushan has filed a petition seeking Asthana's removal
Apart from Verma's, another petition has been filed in the apex court by non-profit organization Common Cause. Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan filed the petition and said the October 23 recommendation of the CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) was driven by malafide intentions. He claimed events showed Verma was being victimized for taking action against Asthana, and the latter (a Gujarat cadre officer) should be removed.
Amid furor, CBI says officials haven't been removed
"M Nageswar Rao is only an interim arrangement until the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) decides on its probe involving both [Verma and Asthana]," CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.
On Thursday, IB officials were caught 'snooping' on Verma
Adding to the worrisome series of events, four IB officers were detained outside Verma's residence on Thursday. It was alleged they were snooping on him. Caught in an embarrassing situation, IB said its teams are deployed in sensitive areas. "The IB is entrusted with the responsibility of collecting intelligence on situations that may affect, inter alia, public order and internal security," the agency's statement read.
Will protest Centre's decision outside CBI offices, says Rahul Gandhi
Tomorrow, outside CBI offices nationwide, the Congress party will protest the PM’s disgraceful attempt to prevent an investigation into the Rafale scam, by removing the CBI Chief.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 25, 2018
I will lead the protests outside CBI HQ in Delhi, at 11 AM. #CBIRafaleGate
Series of events have spelled trouble for Centre
The unprecedented incidents have put the Centre in hot water. More so, after it was revealed that not only were Asthana and Verma divested, but 12 other CBI officers were transferred too. The officer investigating corruption charges leveled on Asthana was also transferred. However, the BJP claimed it doesn't interfere in agencies' work and termed the decision as 'extraordinary solution to an extraordinary situation'.