CBI Case: SC hears arguments challenging Alok Verma’s ouster, next hearing on Dec 5

New Delhi: The Supreme Court lead bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K. M. Joseph, on Thursday resumed hearing of the case challenging the validity of CBI Director Alok Verma’s ouster.

CBI Director Alok Verma had filed a petition challenging the decision of the Central government to send him on leave. CBI Director Alok Verma is being represented by senior lawyer Fali S Nariman. Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the largest opposition- Indian National Congress has also challenged the order and is being represented by Kapil Sibal.

In this crucial case, senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, appearing for Alok Verma, started the argument and submitted to the Apex Court three-judge bench that he had already filed the reply to the (Central Vigilance Committee) CVC inquiry report.

He also submitted to the bench that the CBI Director should have a minimum period irrespective of his superannuation adding that the director’s transfer should be cleared by Selection Committee which selected him.

Thereafter, Dushyant Dave began his argument on behalf of NGO Common Cause.

Dave said that if the central government felt the necessity to remove CBI Director Verma, they should have moved the committee or this court. As it didn’t follow either path, their order ought to be quashed. “The CVC is responsible for the smooth functioning of the CBI,” he added.

Kapil Sibal representing Kharge submitted to the apex court that CVC cannot use the power of superintendence to remove CBI Director.

“The ambit of the power of superintendence of (Central Vigilance Committee) CVC is limited. They can’t simply use this to remove a Director of the CBI or seal his office. This is outside the ambit of the power of CVC. On this recommendation, (Department of Personnel and Training) DoPT has removed CBI Director. Both don’t stand legally,” Sibal argued.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan also made his arguments in the case, appearing for AK Bassi, former Investigation Officer in Rakesh Asthana case.

Attorney General KK Venugopal presented argument on behalf of Central Government.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted to the SC that the committee selects a group of candidates for the appointment of Director of CBI, and puts it up before the government. Then, it is the government which appoints the right candidate, out of these.

Bench after hearing all the arguments culminated hearing for the day and fixed next date of hearing
The court will hear the matter next on December 5.

During the last hearing on November 20, the apex court had adjourned the hearing till today after expressing strong displeasure on the publication of “leaked” reports in the media. The court had observed that the “highest degree of confidentiality” should have been maintained on the issue of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Kumar Verma’s case against the order to divest his powers.