CBI’s internal squabble: CVC reports to SC

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) submitted the report of inquiry on a bribery case against Central Bureau of Investigation Director (CBI) Alok Verma in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court on Monday. The CBI, on the other hand, also handed over to the top court the agency’s report on the decisions taken by its interim director Nageshwar Rao from October 23, ever since he took charge as CBI head.

The apex court has also fixed the hearing of Verma’s plea, challenging the Centre’s decision to divest him of his duties, on November 16. Verma was sent on leave following a tussle with his deputy and Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana.

Appearing for CVC, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta told the bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul, that it could not submit the report to the registry on Sunday as it had arrived late by an hour and the registry had closed by 11.30 am. However, the SG later tendered an apology and said though he was not explaining the circumstances, there was a delay on their part in submitting the report.

Verma has been accused by Asthana of accepting bribe from meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Asthana, too, is accused of indulging in corrupt practices by Verma.

Verma has been appearing before the three-member CVC headed by K V Chowdary and is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations leveled against him by his deputy.

The feud between Verma and Asthana escalated last month, leading to the registration of an FIR against Asthana and others, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in CBI custody in an alleged bribery case. After the tussle between the two senior officers became public, the Centre, in a sudden overnight strike on October 23, divested both Verma and Asthana of their duties and sent them on leave.

The very next day, Verma challenged his removal in the top court that issued notices to both the central government and the CVC. The court directed the CVC to complete the inquiry against the CBI director within two weeks.

Meanwhile, the court had also barred IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who has been given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision.

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