CBI vs CBI: CJI Ranjan Gogoi pulls out of panel deciding Alok Verma’s future

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: January 9, 2019

He nominated Justice A K Sikri to the special Selection Committee that will review the case against CBI Director Alok Verma. The three-member committee also comprises the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.


Ranjan Gogoi

 
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dropped out and nominated Justice A K Sikri to the special Selection Committee that will review the case against CBI Director Alok Verma and decide his future within a week. The three-member committee also comprises the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
 
The nomination comes a day after the Supreme Court set aside a government order divesting Verma of his powers, and left it to the high-powered committee to consider the matter “at the earliest and, in any case, within a week from the date of this order”. In the meantime, Verma has been restricted from taking any major policy decisions.
 
Verma had moved the SC against his divestment, arguing that the government should have approached the selection committee, tasked with appointing the CBI Director, before initiating action against him.
 
“To this, the government had contended that the role of the committee was only in the appointment of the CBI Director. The SC, however, said, “no provision with regard to interim suspension or removal is to be found in the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act, 1946 (under which the agency was established)”. The court added, “if the legislative intent would have been to confer in any authority of the State power to take interim measures against the Director, CBI… surely, the legislation would have contained enabling provisions to that effect,” The Indian Express reported.
 
PM Modi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice Sikri are also expected to decide on the next CBI chief to succeed Alok Verma, who retires on January 31.
 
Verma was sent on compulsory leave by the government in a post-midnight order on October 23 and replaced by an interim chief, Nageswar Rao. He contested the action in the Supreme Court, saying a CBI director has a two-year fixed term and only the selection panel headed by the prime minister can remove him.
 
The court yesterday agreed, and so left it to the panel to take a decision on Verma.