Govt cannot shift CBI chief without nod of appointment panel: Fali Nariman argues in SC

Govt cannot shift CBI chief without nod of appointment panel: Fali Nariman argues in SC

New Delhi: Appearing for the deposed CBI director Alok Verma, lawyer Fali Nariman on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the  government’s order stripping the central agency chief of charges had no basis without the approval of a high-powered committee that had cleared his appointment.

The top court is hearing two petitions – one by Alok Verma and the second by a non-profit organization Common Cause — on whether the move to strip the CBI director of his responsibilities was legal.

Nariman said CBI director   can be removed only with the approval of the committee without which the “government order cannot stand.

Justice KM Joseph questioned, “What if the CBI chief is caught red-handed accepting bribe?”  Nariman replied: “The centre should come to court or go to the committee.”

The Supreme Court had earlier refused to take up the case in the previous hearing on November 20 following the leaks of a report submitted in a sealed cover.

The case is centred on corruption charges traded against eash other by the two top bosses of the country’s top investigating agency- Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.

The CBI Director has been accused by his deputy Rakesh Asthana of taking bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency.  Verma has accused  Asthana of the same crime.

Alok Verma has petitioned the top court against the government’s decision to strip him of his powers and send him on compulsory leave. The Central Vigilance Commission has submitted its report on corruption allegations against him to the court.

The Supreme Court has said the CBI chief has not been given a clean chit in the vigilance report. The report is “complimentary on some charges, not-so-complimentary on some charges and very uncomplimentary on some charges,” the court has told  Verma.

–INDIA BLOOMS NEWS SERVICE

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