CVC report on CBI director 'mixed bag', says Apex court
New Delhi: The CVC's "exhaustive" preliminary report on allegations against CBI Director Alok Verma concludes that some findings are "complimentary" and some "very uncomplimentary", needing further investigation by the panel, the Supreme Court said Friday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ordered that the confidential Central Vigilance Commission report be given to Verma in a sealed cover and asked him to respond to it by Monday, also in a sealed cover. It will take up the matter on Tuesday.
Verma would respond to the CVC report as soon as possible and would file his reply on November 19, his lawyer, Fali S Nariman, told the bench.
"Once we will have your (Verma) response, we will take a decision," the CJI said.
The top court was hearing Verma's plea challenging the government's order divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave given allegations of corruption against him.
The allegations were levelled by his deputy Asthana, against whom the CBI has filed an FIR on charges of graft. Asthana was also sent on leave by the Centre.
The bench also directed that the Central Vigilance Commission report be given to Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the CVC. However, it turned down Asthana's request that he also be provided with the report.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Asthana, argued vehemently for a copy of the report, saying his complaint against Verma to the cabinet secretary was referred to the CVC.
"CVC has filed an exhaustive report. The report has been categorised and is very complimentary on some charges, not so complimentary some charges and very uncomplimentary on some charges. CVC report says some charges are required to be investigated, and they need time," the CJI told Nariman.
The bench told senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for NGO Common Cause, which has filed a separate petition seeking a probe by special investigation team against CBI officers, he had earlier claimed that acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao has taken policy decision despite the apex court order but has not filed a list of the decisions.
"We will presume that he (Rao) has not taken any major policy decision because you have not given us a list of decisions by him," the bench told Dave.
The bench also dealt with the application of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and CBI Dy SP A K Bassi, who has been transferred to Port Blair.
The bench said that it would consider the matter on the next date.
During the hearing, Mehta told the bench he should also be given a copy of the CVC report.
"You (CVC) have not got it. You are the author of the report, and you have not seen it?" the bench asked him.
The CVC probe against Verma was supervised by former Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik, and the probe was completed on November 10.
It also set a deadline of two weeks for the CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against the CBI director.
Besides, it barred Rao from taking any major policy decision but granted him the liberty to perform routine tasks essential to keep the CBI functional.