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Verma cancels most transfer orders issued by interim chief Rao

Verma cancels most transfer orders issued by interim chief Rao
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NEW DELHI: CBI chief Alok Verma, who Wednesday returned to his office in Delhi for the first time in three months, has cancelled most of the transfers ordered by M Nageshwar Rao, who had replaced him as interim chief.

Nageswar Rao had signed off on the transfer of 10 officers on Verma's team.

Verma was on Tuesday reinstated as CBI boss by the Supreme Court, which scrapped an October government order divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.

While restoring him, the Supreme Court said Verma could not take any major policy decisions until a high-powered select committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India meet and decide on his status.

Sources say Verma can still file First Information Report (FIRs) and sign off on transfers; they argue that interim chief Nageswara Rao also discharged these functions after being ordered by the top court to steer clear of significant policy decisions.

Alok Verma had challenged the government's October 23 order arguing that the CBI chief has a fixed two-year term and can be removed only by the high-powered committee. Verma's term ends on January 31.

Meanwhile, the selection committee on CBI chief comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief justice of India and leader of largest opposition party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met on Wednesday evening to discuss the case of reinstated director Alok Verma.

Senior Supreme Court judge, Justice AK Sikri is part of the selection committee in place of the chief justice Ranjan Gogoi. Justice Gogoi stayed away from the meeting as he authored the judgement by which Verma was on Tuesday reinstated as CBI Director.

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