Alok Verma nullifies transfer orders made by Interim CBI chief

Soon after resuming charge as the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday, Alok Verma has withdrawn almost all transfer orders made by the interim CBI director M Nageswara Rao with immediate effect.

The order says that the status-quo before the issuance of above mentioned orders would be maintained.

Around thirteen CBI officers were transferred by Rao after two senior officers, including the current CBI director, were sent on forced leave. However, most of these transfer orders now stand reversed.

On the midnight of October 23, 2018, the central government had sent Verma along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana, number two in the CBI, on forced leave in the wake of their bitter fight.

Verma had challenged the government's order in the Supreme Court, which, on Tuesday, directed that he be reinstated as the CBI chief but barred him from taking any major policy decisions.

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, while reinstating Verma on Tuesday, said the Central government should have referred the case to this Selection Committee if it wished to initiate the removal of the CBI director.

The judgement, read out by Justice Kaul as the Chief Justice was on leave, said the Selection Committee will be called within seven days from Tuesday to take a decision on the basis of the findings of the CVC inquiry into the corruption allegations against the CBI Director.

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

The court also said that till then Verma will refrain from taking any important policy decisions.

Verma's two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on January 31.