SC to hear Alok Verma's petition challenging Nageshwar Rao's appointment as CBI chief on Friday

Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Verma's lawyer told the apex court that the central government sending Verma into leave compromises CBI's investigation into many sensitive cases.

Published: 24th October 2018 11:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2018 11:50 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will hear on Friday CBI director Alok Kumar Verma’s plea challenging the decision of sending him on leave.

Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, who was also advocate for ED official Rajeshwar Singh, mentioned Verma’s petition before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi who fixed the hearing for Friday.

Verma in his plea mentioned that the investigating officers of sensitive cases were being changed.

The ACC headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered that Rao shall look after duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over the duties and functions with immediate effect.

During brief arguments, Shankarnarayanan told the bench that government at 6 am in the morning asked both Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana to go on leave which will affect many sensitive cases.

Verma also challenged the decision to give interim charge of the agency to Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao.

ALSO READ: Internal squabble in CBI shocking and unprecedented: Former officials

The Centre had on Tuesday taken note of the CBI's internal feud and passed an order sending the CBI chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave and gave the agency's charge to Rao with immediate effect.

Sources called it the first such case in CBI's history.

The story is developing and more clarity is likely to happen after the government issues a detailed statement which is expected in the day, they said.

The order implies that the government has sidelined all the three additional directors, number three in the agency hierarchy, including A K Sharma whose name had figured in the complaint by Asthana.

There were reports that the CBI Headquarters had been sealed and officials or outsiders were not being allowed as a team of officers was inside, the sources said.

However, the building has now been opened.

On Tuesday, a Delhi court allowed the CBI to a quiz in custody for seven days its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who has been arrested in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana.

The Delhi High Court, on the same day, directed the investigating agency to maintain status quo on criminal proceedings initiated against Asthana, while also clarifying no stay on the ongoing corruption probe against the IPS officer from Gujarat cadre.

During the hearing, CBI said charges against Asthana are serious and the agency was investigating the matter and is likely to add more offences in the FIR.

Asthana's counsel and senior advocate Amrendra Sharan said it is the case of illegal registration of FIR against the Special CBI Director which is based on the statement of accused.

The court also took a strong exception to CBI's remark that Asthana's presence in the organisation was akin to the pest in the wood.

(With Inputs from PTI)


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