The Supreme Court on Monday will examine the Central Vigilance Commission’s preliminary inquiry report into allegations of corruption against Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma, PTI reported. The court on October 26 had given the commission two weeks to complete its inquiry and had appointed former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik to supervise it.
The central government divested Verma of his responsibilities as CBI director late on October 23 pending a CVC inquiry. Verma has moved the top court against this decision, claiming that the probe agency’s autonomy was being compromised as “certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government”.
Verma’s petition, previously heard by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, will come up for hearing before a two-judge bench on Monday.
Verma has been questioned by the three-member commission and has allegedly denied all allegations levelled against him by CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who has accused the officer of attempting to falsely implicate him. On October 15, the agency named Asthana in a First Information Report in a bribery case. He was accused of accepting a Rs 2-crore bribe to scuttle an investigation into businessman Moin Qureshi, allegedly involved in multiple corruption cases.
Asthana has also moved a separate petition in the Supreme Court seeking Verma’s removal as director.
The Supreme Court on Monday will also look into the decisions taken by M Nageswara Rao since he was appointed as the CBI interim director on October 23. At its last hearing, the court had barred Rao from making any policy decisions.
A list of all the decisions Rao made between “October 23, 2018 and up to this hour including decisions with regard to transfer of investigations, change of investigating officer[s] etc. will be furnished to the court in a sealed cover on or before November 12, 2018 whereafter orders as would be appropriate will be passed by the court”, it had said.
The Supreme Court is also hearing a petition seeking a Special Investigation Team inquiry into corruption allegations against officials of the agency, including Asthana. A non-governmental organisation called Common Cause sought the quashing of the government’s order an accused it of subverting the CBI through “brazen interference”.