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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 7:03 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 11:09 AM (IST)NEWS ANALYSIS

SC verdict itself sealed Alok Verma’s fate

SC verdict itself sealed Alok Verma’s fate

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10

Two days after the Supreme Court ordered reinstatement of Alok Verma as the CBI Director, he has been unceremoniously removed.

The decision by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Supreme Court Judge AK Sikri as the CJI’s nominee and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has surprised many. But those who read the January 8 verdict meticulously had kept their fingers crossed as Verma had not been given a clean chit.

His fate had already been sealed by the top court, which had also perused confidential documents submitted by the Centre which were not shared with Verma’s counsel.

The reinstatement order was rather based on legal technicalities. A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had held that neither the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) nor the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had powers to remove or transfer the CBI Director. It had given a broader meaning to the expression “transfer” and accordingly set aside the October 23, 2018, orders divesting Verma of his powers. The Bench had also ruled that the power to take such a decision under the amended Delhi

Special Police Establishment Act vested only in the selection panel. What’s important is that in its interim report submitted to the top court of its probe against Verma conducted under the supervision of former top court judge AK Patnaik, the CVC had recorded certain adverse findings against him and the CJI had talked about it in the open court. It’s an irony of sorts that Kharge — who had opposed Verma’s appointment as CBI Director in January 2017 — gave a dissent note against the decision to remove him from the coveted post.

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