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Supreme Court Sets Two Weeks for Investigating CBI Director The court also said that retired justice AK Patnaik will supervise the probe by the CVC

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THE SUPREME COURT has asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete its investigation against Alok Verma, Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in two weeks and under the supervision of the top court.

The order of the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kaul and KM Joseph came on a petition filed by Verma against the government’s order sending him on leave on Wednesday.

The court said that the interim Director M Nageshwar Rao will perform only routine tasks and cannot take any policy decisions and that all decisions taken by him since will have to be submitted to the court in a sealed envelope.

The court also said that retired justice AK Patnaik will supervise the probe by the CVC. The court will now take up the case on Nov. 12.

Senior Fali Nariman represented Verma, Attorney General KK Venugopal represented the central government and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented the CVC.

On Wednesday, the government had appointed M Nageshwara Rao, Joint Director of CBI, as its interim chief on the recommendation of the Chief Vigilance Commission, the supervisory body for CBI.

This was after a much public spat between the Director of CBI Alok Verma and its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in the past few days. The CBI had filed a First Information Report against Asthana on Sunday on corruption charges.

Earlier, Asthana had leveled charges of corruption and misconduct against Director Alok Verma in his complaint to the CVC.

Asthana had appealed to the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking the quashing of the FIR against him. The court had ordered no action against him till the next hearing on October 29.

The Order:

Heard the learned counsels for the petitioners and perused the relevant material.

Issue notice in both the writ petitions.

The matters shall be listed immediately after the Diwali Holidays i.e. on 12th November, 2018.

Having heard the learned counsels for the parties at some length, we are of the view that the following interim arrangement should govern the situation.

1. The enquiry in respect of the allegations made in the note/letter of the Cabinet Secretary dated 24th August, 2018 as regards the present Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”) Shri Alok Verma shall be completed by the Central Vigilance Commission (“CVC”) within a period of two weeks from today. The enquiry will be conducted under the supervision of a retired judge of this Court Shri Justice A.K. Patnaik who is requested to accept the assignment and ensure that enquiry is completed within the time frame fixed by this Court.

2. The respondent No.6 – M. Nageshwar Rao in Writ Petition (Civil) No.1315 of 2018 who has been entrusted with the task of looking after the duties of the Director of the CBI by the impugned order dated 23rd October, 2018 of the Secretary, Department of personnel & Training, shall, as of from now, not take any policy decision(s) or any major decision(s) and will only perform the routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functional. A list of all the decisions taken by the respondent No. 6 – M. Nageshwar Rao between 23rd October, 2018 and upto this hour including decisions with regard to transfer of investigations, change of Investigating Officer(s), etc. etc. will be furnished to the Court in a sealed cover on or before 12th November, 2018 whereafter orders as would be appropriate will be passed by the Court.

We make it clear that entrustment of supervision of on-going enquiry by the C.V.C. to a former judge of this Court is one-time exception which has been felt necessary by this Court in the peculiar facts of this case and should not be understood to be casting any reflection on any authority of the Government of India.

#CBIvsCBI: AS IT HAPPENED

-ENDS-

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