Millennium Post

CVC submits report on Verma to SC with apology

New Delhi: The report of an investigation into corruption allegations against exiled CBI director Alok Verma was handed over in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court Monday by the Central Vigilance Commission, which had to apologise for being a day late in submitting the document. The case will be taken up on Friday, said Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, rebuking the vigilance body for submitting the report late even though the office was kept open on Sunday.

"We kept the registry open even on Sunday since morning, but you didn't come. You didn't even inform us," said the judges.

The Central Vigilance Commission, the country's top anti-corruption body, said it had completed its report on Saturday but could not submit it in time. "We apologise for the delay. We came to court one hour late, but the Registry was open only up to 11:30 pm," said Tushar Mehta, representing the commission.

The vigilance body has also submitted another report on decisions taken by M Nageswar Rao, the officer who took over as interim chief after Alok Verma was sent on forced leave last month.

Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, the two top officers of the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation, were both sent on leave after they accused each other of taking a bribe in the investigation of a businessman.

Alok Verma launched an investigation and the CBI even filed a case against Asthana, who in turn wrote to the centre and the vigilance panel against his boss.

On October 26, the top court had appointed Justice Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma.

The apex court had also issued notices to the Centre and the CVC seeking their replies on Verma's petition challenging the government's decision to divest him of his powers as CBI chief and sending him on leave.

The court on October 26 had also set a deadline of two weeks for the CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against the CBI director.

It had also barred Rao, who has been given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision.

Besides the plea filed by Verma, the court is also seized of the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which has sought a probe by special investigation team against CBI officers including Asthana, and had issued notices to the Centre, CBI, CVC, Asthana, Verma and Rao asking them to respond to it by November 12.

Asthana has also moved the Supreme Court with a separate petition in the matter and has sought removal of Verma from the post of CBI Director.

Later, on November 4, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had moved the top court contending that divesting Verma of his statutory powers and functions is "completely illegal and arbitrary".

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