NEW DELHI: The sentiment in the Opposition camp after the Supreme Court verdict reinstating CBI chief Alok Verma was that of “relief”, as expressed by Rahul Gandhi.
“The CBI chief was ousted at 1 am in the night because he was about to begin a probe into the Rafale deal. The CBI chief has been reinstated and we have got some relief,” the Congress president told reporters.
However, the relief from alleged “witch hunt” that the Opposition may be expecting appears unlikely as FIRs in some high-profile cases were filed a long time ago and the investigations in these cases have picked up speed of late.
For instance, the FIR in the illegal mining case of Hamirpur (UP) was filed in 2015 and the CBI, which carried out raids at several places in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi a few days ago, may question SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Similarly, in the National Herald case and the IRCTC case, which was one of the reasons for the feud between the two top CBI officials, FIRs have already been registered.
The SC verdict is unlikely to impact or hinder investigations in these cases.
Rahul, as well as other Opposition leaders, was also quick to dub the court ruling as a blow to the government’s move to stymie the Rafale probe.
“SC reinstating CBI director Alok Verma is a direct indictment of the PM. Modi govt has ruined all institutions and democracy in our country. Wasn’t CBI director illegally removed at midnight to stall the probe in Rafale scam which directly leads to PM himself?” tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Though the apex court has restrained Verma from taking any policy decision for now, noted lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan said “the probe for Rafale can be initiated now as filing FIRs is not a policy decision and Verma can do it”.