The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the Centre’s decision to divest Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma of his responsibilities. However, Verma will be unable to take major policy decisions until a high-power committee under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act rules on his case. The ruling is expected within a week.
On October 23, the Centre had relieved both Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana of their duties after they traded charges of corruption and interference in several cases. They had later moved the Supreme Court against the action.
The feud came to light on October 15 after the agency named Asthana in a First Information Report for allegedly accepting bribes from Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is an accused in multiple graft cases. Asthana, in turn, accused Verma of trying to falsely implicate him and levelled corruption charges against him.
Here is a list of articles explaining the crisis:
- Why exactly is the CBI raiding the CBI? An explainer on the main people involved in the row and what led India’s premier investigation agency to arrest one of its own people.
- What you need to know about the midnight action within the CBI: On October 23, the government sent Verma and Asthana on leave and shuffled several officials within the agency. Here is a ready reckoner on the drama that unfolded and the confusion it created.
- By sending the CBI director on leave, the Centre has stretched the law to its limits: The leader of opposition and chief justice of India were not consulted.
- Why was M Nageswara Rao chosen to be interim chief of the CBI despite his controversial record? At least two previous appointments for the Odisha cadre officer have been surrounded by controversy.
- Interim CBI Director Nageswara Rao defends financial transactions between wife and private firm: There is no question of unaccounted money, he said.
- How Rakesh Asthana went from supercop in Gujarat to the ‘blue-eyed boy’ in Delhi: The officer is known for his long association with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Asthana, who was earlier facing six cases of corruption, is now reportedly being investigated in only one.
- Congress keen for the Supreme Court to swiftly wrap up Alok Verma case: As the CBI chief retires at the end of January, a favourable verdict after that will benefit Modi, Congress leaders felt. Former PM Manmohan Singh had said the environment in institutions like CBI is being vitiated under the Modi government.
- It was ‘absolutely essential’ to step in and act, Centre tells Supreme Court during hearing: Attorney General KK Venugopal said the Centre was ‘very concerned’ about the public fight between CBI chief Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
- Unprecedented row in India’s premier investigating agency gets Twitter talking: As the row raged on, images on social media helped communicate the irony in the case.
- From CBI to RBI, an incomplete list of institutions that Narendra Modi has undermined or threatened: This BJP government has left its mark on every section of the Indian republic.