New Delhi: Giving thumbs down to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief.
The Supreme Court has quashed the Centre’s move to remove Verma, who had moved the top court with an appeal against the action taken against him.
The Supreme Court has said it is the Selection Panel, which is constituted by the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and leader of the single largest opposition party, can take the decision. The Selection Panel has been directed to meet within a week from now and take a call.
Verma, meanwhile, cannot take any policy decision of the CBI.
Backdrop of the Centre’s move:
The CBI chief was sent on leave in October after he was caught in the middle of a case revolving around Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana swapping bribe charges.
The fight between the number one and two of the CBI blew into major controversy after Asthana had alleged that Verma took a bribe from Hyderabad businessman Sathish Babu Sana. Sana had allegedly paid Rs2 crore to protect himself from Moin Qureshi case.
However, Asthana rubbished the charges saying it was hurled against him owing to a conspiracy between the accuser and some CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers.
Along with Verma, the Centre had sent Asthana on leave as well.
In absence of Verma, the Centre had appointed Indian Police Service (IPS) officer M Nageswara Rao as the CBI’s interim chief. But Rao was barred by the top court from taking any policy decisions.