The Supreme Court today refused to hear CBI number two Rakesh Asthana's last-minute petition challenging his forced leave. Rakesh Asthana, Special CBI Director, was sent on leave on Tuesday, hours before the government ordered the same step for his boss Alok Verma.
"Why are you so late? We can't hear a case, which is not listed before us," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was heading the three-judge bench, told senior advocate, Mukul Rohatgi, representing Mr Asthana.
Mr Rohatgi told the top court that he had "filed a separate plea."
The Centre told the court that the inquiry should not only be on the allegations against Mr Verma but also on the allegations raised against Mr Asthana. Chief Justice Gogoi responded saying, "We are only concerned with Mr Verma."
Mr Verma and Mr Asthana were sent on leave after days of their public feud, which saw each accusing the other of corruption. As Mr Verma launched an investigation into bribery allegations against his deputy, Mr Asthana wrote to the government and Central Vigilance Commission accusing the CBI director of the same.
Hearing Mr Verma's petition against his forced leave, the Supreme Court gave the vigilance body two weeks to complete an inquiry into the allegations against him. The inquiry will be monitored by an ex-judge. The court also said interim CBI chief Nageswar Rao can't take any policy decision and decisions he has taken so far would not be implemented.
Hours before the hearing began today Mr Asthana was seen at Mr Rohatgi's home in Delhi. Responding to reporters before the hearing, Mr Rohatgi said, "It is just another case...not a big issue