The Supreme Court on Friday will continue hearing Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma’s petition challenging the government’s order to send him on leave, PTI reported.
The court is also likely to consider the Central Vigilance Commission’s report on its inquiries into corruption allegations against Verma. The inquiry report was submitted to the court in a sealed cover on November 12. On October 26, the Supreme Court had given the commission two weeks to complete the inquiry and appointed former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik to supervise it.
Meanwhile, news website The Wire reported that Verma, in his official response to the Central Vigilance Commission, has said the agency focussed on Asthana’s allegations, which he deemed baseless, and not the allegations made against him in a letter of the cabinet secretary dated August 24. The Supreme Court had asked the vigilance panel to look into the specific allegations mentioned in the cabinet secretary’s letter, Verma reportedly pointed out.
Verma has also reportedly questioned Central Vigilance Commission’s integrity as an independent investigator. “…the CVC seems to be on a roving expedition to cast aspersions on my integrity and impartiality, which have never once been questioned in the last 39 years of my career in which I have headed police forces across four states/union territories and two institutions (including the CBI),” the CBI director said. “I am surprised that the line of questioning being adopted by the CVC is as if I am already guilty and have to prove my innocence rather than the other way around.”
Verma had moved the court on October 24, hours after the government sent him and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave and named M Nageswara Rao as interim director. On October 15, the agency had 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 had accused Verma of trying to falsely implicate him.