Supreme Court of India directs CVC to complete inquiries against CBI Director, next hearing on Nov 12

The Supreme Court of India Friday heard CBI Director Alok Verma’s plea challenging the government of India’s order stripping him of his duties as the agency’s chief and sending him on leave. A three-judge bench, directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete the inquiries against Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana and also appointed one of its former judges, Justice AK Patnaik, to supervise the inquiry.

Verma and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana were at ‘war’ with each other, with the former having filed an FIR against him in connection with bribery allegations.

Asthana was also dissolved of all his responsibilities. Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, is alleged to have demanded a bribe of Rs 5 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman through two middlemen to help him get off the hook in the Moin Qureshi case. Both had alleged corruption on each other in connection with different cases.

ALSO READ: Bribery allegations fallout: GoI dissolves CBI Director of duties, issues order for Joint Director to take over

During the hearing, the apex court also ruled that N Nageshwar Rao, appointed as the interim director by GoI, will not take any major policy decisions. It also directed Rao to submit all the decisions, taken by him ever since his appointment, in a sealed cover and scheduled the next hearing for November 12.

Meanwhile, Opposition party Congress is staging an agitation led by party chief Rahul Gandhi outside the agency’s headquarters. Recently, after the news of Verma being sent on leave, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi alleged that Verma was forcibly sent on leave as he was collecting documents relating to the Rafale fighter jets deal ‘scam’, PTI reported.

In a tweet, Gandhi said, “CBI Chief Alok Verma was collecting documents relating to the Rafale scam. He was forcibly sent on leave”.

ALSO READ: Rafale deal coverage: Ambani files Rs. 7,000 crore defamation suit against The Citizen’s founder editor

“The Prime Minister’s message is very clear that whoever comes near Rafale (issue) will be removed, wiped out,” he said.

Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley dismissed the allegations as “rubbish” and said that the government of India’s decision to remove Verma and Asthana is based on the Central Vigilance Commission’s recommendations.

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