The caution probe for the director of the ousted CBI Alok Verma has provided "mixed" findings and indicates that several allegations need to be investigated further, the Supreme Court said after examining the confidential report given to the court by the Central Vigilance Commission.
The report "can be categorized in four; it is very free at some costs; it is not so for others; it is very inappropriate for several accusations and some accusations require further investigation," said Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, summarizing CVC findings.
The high court has asked Alok Verma to submit his response to this finding on Monday.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that it was deemed necessary to look for his response "in view of the need to safeguard and maintain public sanctity and trust in the institution (CBI)"
Two government law officials, Attorney General VV Venugopal and Public Attorney Tushar Mehra will also get a copy of the cover report in the cover. "There is no need to say that the report intended to be submitted to the AG and SG offices will be treated with the utmost confidentiality," said CJI Gogoi.
The high court, in its October 31 order, ordered the CVC to investigate allegations of corruption against the director of CBI who was exiled under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court judge, AK Patnaik, and submit his report within two weeks. The commission, however, submitted the report a day on November 16.
In addition to requests submitted by Verma, the court also seized public interest litigation or PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which had requested an investigation by a special investigation team against CBI officers.
The court has notified the Center, CBI, CVC, CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, Verma and Rao who asked them to respond on November 12. The CVC has submitted an initial investigation report in the upper court on November 12.
Alok Verma divested of his responsibilities on the eve of intervention October 23 and 24 after his feud with his deputy Asthana threw federal investigative agents into chaos.
Asthana wrote to the cabinet secretary on August 24, accusing Verma of interfering in sensitive cases and claiming that the director had accepted bribes. The cabinet secretary requested CVC to investigate this matter.
On October 15, the CBI, in turn, filed FIR against Asthana accusing it of corruption.
Verma challenged the CVC order to release her from her responsibilities before the Supreme Court, which resulted in a time-bound inspection monitored by Patnaik.
Both Verma and Asthana have appeared before CVC.
On October 26, the high court appointed Judge Patnaik to oversee the CVC's ongoing investigation of Verma and also set a two-week deadline for the CVC to complete an initial investigation into the director of CBI.
The Supreme Court has notified the Center and CVC to look for their answers to Verma's passage challenging the government's decision to release him from his power as CBI head and send him leave.
In addition, it prohibits Rao from making major policy decisions but gives him the freedom to carry out routine tasks that are important for maintaining CBI functions.
First Published: 16 Nov 2018 10:48 IST