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CBI vs CBI: Extraordinary situations need extraordinary remedies, CVC tells SC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Extraordinary situations need extraordinary remedies, the told the on Thursday during the hearing of Alok Verma's plea against the Centre's decision to divest him of powers and send him on leave.

Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CVC, referred to apex court judgements and laws governing the and said the Commission's superintendence (over the CBI) encompasses "surprise, extraordinary situations".

A bench headed by said K K told the court that circumstances culminating in the situation had started in July.

"Essence of the action must be in the interest of the institution," the bench said.

The top court said it was not that the fight between the and Special emerged overnight, forcing the to divest the without consulting the

It further said the has to be "fair" and asked what the difficulty was in consulting the before divesting the of his power.

"The essence of every government action should be to adopt the best course," the top court said.

The also asked the CVC what prompted it to take such an action since it was not something that happened overnight.

Mehta told the court that the top officers of the CBI, "instead of investigating cases, were investigating cases against each other".

He said the jurisdiction is vested in the CVC to inquire or else it would have been guilty of dereliction of duty. If it did not act, it would be answerable to the of and the Supreme Court, he added.

He said the reference for inquiry against the CBI director had been sent by the government.

"CVC started probe but Verma did not give documents for months", Mehta said.

Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Asthana, told the apex court that he was a whistle-blower in the case, but was painted by the government with the same brush.

The government must take CVC inquiry against Verma to a logical end, he said.

Fali S Nariman, appearing for the CBI Director, said that the Centre's order took away all his powers.

He said that Section 16 of the Clauses Act deals with as to who can remove like the CBI Director and doesn't deal with divesting of powers of the

"The should have powers of Director. Tenure of two years does not mean that Director can have a visiting card with title, but without powers," submitted Nariman, in reference to AG's argument that Verma continues to be the agency Director.

The court then asked Nariman whether it can appoint someone, to which Nariman said, "yes".

The court was hearing the pleas of Verma, who is challenging the Centre's decision against him, and the NGO Common Cause, seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into allegations of corruption against various CBI officials, including Asthana.

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

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 14:30 IST