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Kharge moves SC on Govt action against CBI director

Kharge moves SC on Govt action against CBI director
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New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday told the Supreme Court that divesting CBI director Alok Verma of his statutory powers and functions is "completely illegal and arbitrary". In an interlocutory application filed in the pending petition, Kharge, who is also a member of the three-member selection committee which appoints the CBI director, said, "As a concerned stakeholder he brings to the attention of the court the brazen and illegal actions" of the political executive in interfering with the independent functioning of the CBI director.

The selection committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, and the Leader of the Opposition party/ single largest Opposition party. "The entire action of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) vide its order October 23 and the DOPT vide order October 23 seeking to divest CBI director Alok Verma of his statutory powers and functions is completely illegal, arbitrary, punitive and without jurisdiction...," Kharge said.

Kharge, who is the leader of single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha, said that the provisions of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE Act) clearly say that the tenure and terms of CBI director are protected and even a transfer cannot be effected without the consent of the committee. He said that the orders of the CVC and the DOPT divesting Verma of his powers, functions and duties is a "direct and concerted attempt" to impede the independent functioning of the CBI director.

Kharge, who claimed to have written a letter on October 25 to place on record that no meeting of the selection committee was convened to deliberate the issue, said, "It was also pointed out that the de facto transfer/divesting of the authority of the CBI director is illegal and mala fide."

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