CBI vs CBI: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the Narendra Modi government at the Centre over its decision to divest two senior-most officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the government has to be fair in every case. The apex court wondered what was the what was the difficulty in consulting the selection committee before divesting CBI director Alok Verma of his powers as he was retiring in few months. The Chief Justice told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that essence of every government action should be to adopt the best course.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked what prompted the government to take an overnight decision on October 23 to divest CBI director Alok Verma of his powers. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph was hearing the matter. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Vigilance Commission, told the Supreme Court that vigilance panel had come to the conclusion that an extraordinary situation had arisen. He further added that extraordinary situations sometimes need extraordinary remedies.
Two senior most officers were fighting and investigating cases against each other instead of probing serious cases, he told the Supreme Court, adding that CVC’s inaction would have been a negligence of its duty.
This comes a day after the Centre told the apex court that the fight between CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana has exposed the premier investigative agency to ridicule. He defended the Centre’s action and said it was necessary to restore public confidence in top probe agency of the country.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by CBI top official Verma against the Centre’s decision to divest him of powers. CBI chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were at loggerheads over various issues and have accused each other of corruption.