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SC expresses displeasure over leak of CBI Director's confidential reply

A senior lawyer said the news portal and its journalists concerned be summoned as the press should be free and responsible

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

CBI, Alok, investigation, Alok Kumar Verma
CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma

The Tuesday adjourned the hearing on CBI Director Alok Verma's plea challenging the government's decision to divest him of his duties, expressing anguish over the alleged leak of his response to a CVC report.

The court, while adjourning the hearing to November 29, also expressed displeasure over publication of graft allegations by CBI DIG M K Sinha against senior officers.

The top court adjourned the matter twice, soon after the hearing began and again later in the day.

Irked over the alleged leak of Verma's confidential response to the Central Vigilance Commission's findings on corruption charges against him, the top court said none of "you deserve any hearing".

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"We don't think any of you deserve any hearing," Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said, adjourning the matter for the first time.

However, the court agreed to hear Verma's plea after finishing the day's hearing after his lawyers Fali S Nariman and Gopal Shankaranarayanan mentioned the case again before a bench headed by Gogoi.

The CBI director in his plea has challenged the government's decision of divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave.

ALSO READ: CBI vs CBI: Alok Kumar Verma files response in SC on CVC probe report

Later, the bench recommenced the hearing, making it clear at the outset that it was not going to hear any party and would confine itself to the issues red flagged by it.

Miffed over the alleged leak in a media portal, the bench, which also comprised justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, said it wanted to keep Verma's response confidential to maintain the CBI's dignity.

Taking umbrage of various media reports based on the petition filed by Sinha, Gogoi said, "But here is a litigant who mentions it before us and then goes out to distribute the petition to everyone." Sinha on Monday dragged the names of NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and CVC K V Chowdhury over alleged attempts to interfere in the probe against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave along with his boss.

The bench said, "This court is not a platform for people to come and express whatever they want." "This is a place where people come for adjudication of their legal rights.

This is not a platform and we will set it right," it said.

The top court again adjourned hearing to November 29 and refused to hear any party, including the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

First Published: Tue, November 20 2018. 11:31 IST
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