Exiled CBI chief Alok Verma's petition challenging the government's move to divest him of his powers and send him on forced leave is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court shortly. Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were both sent on leave in October amid a bitter feud between the CBI's top two.
Mr Verma challenged the move saying it went against the rules that mandate that the CBI chief has two years in office.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is on leave today and the judgement Mr Verma's plea will be pronounced by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The government has argued that it had no option but to send both officers on leave since they were fighting like "kilkenny cats".
The court questioned the haste to take the step without consulting a selection committee, as is the rule for any action against the CBI chief.
"If you had tolerated since July, it is not something that required immediate action as the circumstances were culminating for a long time," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had asked the Central Vigilance Commission, on whose recommendation the centre put out the order and stripped Alok Verma of his powers.
"Extraordinary situations need extraordinary remedies," the vigilance body had replied. "The Central Vigilance Commission's superintendence (over CBI) encompasses 'surprise, extraordinary situations'."
The Supreme Court is hearing Alok Verma's petition against the government's action and his response to a vigilance report on him. The case is centred on corruption charges swapped by Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana. The CBI Director has been accused by Mr Asthana of taking bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency. Mr Verma has accused Mr Asthana of the same crime.
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