Corruption Case: Alok Verma back in CBI as 'powerless' director

Jan 09, 2019, 10:46 IST | Agencies

SC says on reinstatement, he will cease and desist from taking major policy decisions till CVC completes its probe

Corruption Case: Alok Verma back in CBI as 'powerless' director
Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma at Supreme Court in New Delhi on July 30, 2018. File Pic/PTI

Alok Kumar Verma was on Tuesday allowed to come back as CBI Director, albeit with his wings clipped, by the Supreme Court, which gave a jolt to the Centre and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by setting aside their orders divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.

However, the sword "of divestment of power and authority" of Verma is still hanging on his head as the apex court said it was "still open" for the high-powered committee, which selects the CBI chief, to consider the matter within a week since the CVC is probing the charges of corruption against him. It also made it clear that on reinstatement, Verma will cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till the committee's decision.

The top court set aside the October 23, 2018 orders of the CVC and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) divesting Verma of his powers and asking CBI's Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao to look after the duties and functions of the agency's director.

In its 44-page verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "We deem it proper to direct that Verma, Director CBI, upon reinstatement, will cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till the decision of the committee permitting such actions and decisions becomes available within the time frame indicated." The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, asked the high-powered committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition to meet within a week.

Verma's two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on January 31. The entire issue of Verma revolved around his feud with CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana as both of them have levelled charges of corruption against each other.

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