Arun Jaitley defends decision to send CBI senior officers on leave 

'The government took this decision to protect the integrity of the CBI. Government took the action of sending two senior officers of CBI on leave on CVC's recommendation,' he said.

Published: 08th January 2019 02:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2019 11:56 PM   |  A+A-

Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attends a news conference sharing details about the recapitalisation of public sector banks in New Delhi, January 24, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As the Opposition went for the government’s jugular following the Supreme Court verdict reinstating CBI chief Alok Verma, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley defended the decision to send two senior CBI officials on compulsory leave in October saying it was based on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and was taken to protect the integrity of the investigating agency.

“This action taken was perfectly bonafide as there were cross-allegations made by both the officers, and in accordance with recommendations of the CVC. The government felt that in the larger interest of fair and impartial investigation and credibility of CBI, the two officers must recuse themselves,” Jaitley said.

“The court apparently has strengthened the immunity given to the CBI director in the larger interest of the fair and impartial working of the CBI. At the same time, the court has devised an accountability mechanism. The directions of the court will obviously be complied with,” he added.

Jaitley also pointed out that the government’s decision on the issue was not against any particular individual. “The government had accepted the CVC’s recommendations with full honesty and a reinterpretation on the matter was given by the SC today and we will take action according to the order,” he added.

The minister said that the CVC was an independent body and submitted its recommendations to the Supreme Court. “The CVC had exercised its powers under the power of superintendence. We have not read the judgment of the Supreme Court, but it could be a view that the court has taken. That if superintendence results in the chief relinquishing his powers temporarily, then the jurisdiction of the committee comes into play. Therefore, the court has referred the matter to that committee to decide on the issue within a week. And in accordance with the directions of the court it will be complied with and the government will act in the same manner,” Jaitley said.

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