SC reinstates CBI chief without power to take any policy decision, high-powered committee to decide his fate

The Supreme Court has reinstated Alok Verma on a technicality saying the government should have referred to the Select Committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to initiate Alok Verma's removal.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), setting aside the Centre’s decision to send him on leave before the end of his term in January this year, reported Bar and Bench.

According to the reports, a bench comprised of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph. As CJI Gogoi was unavailable today, Justice Kaul pronounced the verdict stating that Alok Verma cannot take any major policy decision until the high power committee takes a decision, Supreme Court

Reportedly, the High Power Committee under DSPE Act to decide within a week to consider Alok Verma’s case. Alok Verma cannot take any major policy decision until the statutory committee takes a final decision. With only weeks left for Alok Verma’s retirement, the decision of the Supreme Court to take away his power to make decisions is a major setback to Verma and his supporters. Alok Verma’s term as CBI director was scheduled to end on January 31.

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The high-powered committee will include the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the opposition and will take a call on his transfer within a week.

The Supreme Court has, in the meantime, reinstated Alok Verma on a technicality saying the government should have referred to the Select Committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition to initiate Alok Verma’s removal.

The Modi government had sent Alok Verma on leave to restore public faith in the CBI by effectively divesting him of his powers as the Director of the CBI. The DoPT and the CVC issued notices in a midnight move on October 29 announcing this decision. Earlier, the Supreme Court had reinstated Rakesh Asthana as the special director of CBI.

Alok Verma had sought quashing of three orders of October 23, 2018, one by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and two by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), as being without jurisdiction and in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

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