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CBI vs CBI: Setback for Modi Government, SC reinstates Alok Verma as CBI Director

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

The on Tuesday reinstated as Director, however, he cannot take major policy decisions. In a decision which could be seen as a setback to the Modi government, the set aside the CVC's (Central Vigilance Commission) October 23rd order that forced Verma on leave.

The further added that this case would be sent to a statutory committee for further referral, pending which could not take "major policy decisions" as In it's observation, the court further added that the should have referred this case to the select committee comprising of Prime Minister, of and of the Opposition if it wished to initiate removal of the

The judgement was read out by Justice on behalf of Ranjan Gogoi, the of who was on leave today.

The apex court was hearing the plea of and NGO Common Cause challenging the central government's decision to send him on forced leave and divesting him of all responsibilities, calling it an "extraordinary and unprecedented" situation.

On December 6, 2018, the Bench headed by had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of Verma, the Union Government, (CVC), NGO Common Cause, and others who were the party in the case.

During the hearing in December, while confronting questions over the Centre's sudden decision to send Verma on leave, the CVC had told the apex court that "extraordinary situations sometimes need extraordinary remedies."

CJI Gogoi had raised questions over the timing of the order and asked why the took immediate steps to divest Verma of his powers without consulting the

Both CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy were sent on leave on October 25, last year, after their feud had become public as they had leveled allegations of corruption against each other.

In a recent interview to ANI, cleared the air over the removing the two men at the top of CBI and said "When CBI's internal personal matter came to light, they were both asked to go on leave legally. Because institutions are paramount for us."

Opposition parties, especially the Congress, have in recent times, criticised the BJP-led of misusing the CBI for political vendetta, dubbing it as a 'caged parrot'.

Asthana accused the CBI Director of accepting a bribe from a Hyderabad-based being investigated by the agency. Simultaneously, Verma also accused Asthana of the same crime.

After sending Verma on leave and divesting him of all responsibilities, CBI's M Nageswara Rao was given the charge of

K K Venugopal had justified Centre's action taken against these officers stating that, "the Centre's action was required to prevent two top officers fighting, and the move was well "within its right to intervene". Also, the action was aimed at restoring the public faith in the CBI.

Fali Nariman, appearing for Verma, had contended that in all circumstances the CVC and the Centre should have consulted the

Kapil Sibal appearing for Mallikarjun Kharge, who had filed a plea against the Centre's and CVC decision of sending Verma on leave, had argued that the government does not have the power to remove or transfer the CBI Director.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 11:10 IST