New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as the CBI Director, setting aside the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Centre’s decision to divest him of his powers to function as the head of the investigating agency.
While restoring Verma’s powers, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph said that the matter will go to the high powered selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice, which will look into the issue.
Pronouncing the judgement authored by Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice Kaul said the committee will meet within seven days from Tuesday and till then Verma will “cease and desist” from taking from taking any “major policy” decision.
The Centre had divested Verma of his powers to function as CBI Director and had asked him to proceed on an indefinite leave.
The judgement came on a plea by Verma and and NGO Common Cause challenging the government’s decision on the intervening night of October 23-24 to divest Verma from exercising his powers.
Referring to the provisions of the Delhi Special Establishment (DSPE) Act and the Lokpal law, the court said that the legislative intent was to insulate the CBI chief from outside interference.
The court said that the word “transfer” under DSPE Act could not be read literally and has to be understood to include action (of the government) that affects the functioning of the head of the premier investigating agency.