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SC reinstates Alok Verma as CBI Director, restrains him from taking policy decisions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The on Tuesday reinstated Alok Kumar Verma, setting aside the Centre's decision to divest him of his powers, but restrained him from taking any major policy decision till the CVC probe into charges against him is over.

The apex court said any further decision against Verma, who was sent on leave following the Centre's October 23 decision and retires on January 31, would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the

The selection committee comprises the prime minister, of opposition and the of

The top court said the high powered committee will take its decision on the basis of the findings of the inquiry. It said the meeting of the committee should be convened within a week.

The judgement was penned by However, the CJI didn't attend court and it was pronounced by Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

The apex court also set aside the Centre's decision to appoint senior IPS M Nageswara Rao, who was joint director, as the agency's

With the verdict, the apex court has set aside the Centre's October 23 decision divesting Verma as chief and sending him on leave.

Verma's two-year tenure as ends on January 31. He has moved the top court challenging the Centre's decision.

Verma sought quashing of three orders of October 23, 2018 -- one by the CVC and two by the (DoPT) -- as being without jurisdiction and in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer, was given the charge of of the probe agency.

The Centre took the decision to send Verma and CBI's on leave after their feud become public. The top two charged each other of

The Centre said Verma and Asthana were fighting like "Kilkenny cats", exposing the country's investigating agency to "public ridicule".

Challenging the government's decision, Verma's Fali S Nariman argued that the CBI director was appointed on February 1, 2017 and "the position of law is that there will be a fixed tenure of two years and this gentleman cannot be even transferred".

Nariman said there was no basis for the CVC to pass an order recommending that Verma be sent on leave.

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

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 12:10 IST