The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed government's order divesting Alok Verma of his powers and sening him on leave. Though the apex court reinstated Verma as CBI director, it restrained him from taking major policy decisions. Verma had filed a plea against the Centre's decision to divest him of powers and sending him on leave. The Centre had also sent CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave.After their feud become public as they made allegations of corruption against each other, the Centre had taken the decision. As being without jurisdiction and in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, Verma had sought quashing of three orders of October 23, 2018 -- one by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and two by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Here are the HIGHLIGHTS:
12:31 pm: Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave on CVC's recommendation, says Arun Jaitley.
11:29 am: "Welcome SCs decision to reinstate Alok Verma as CBI Dir.Reinstates belief in independent institutions of our democracy that are its pillars. Time for the Central gov to stop misusing its influence to arm twist investigative agencies like NIA & CBI for political vendetta," Mehbooba Mufti tweeted
11:25 am: Welcoming Supreme Court's decision,former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that it reinstates belief in independent institutions of our democracy
11:12 am: "SC reinstating CBI director Alok Verma is a direct indictment of the PM. Modi govt has ruined all institutions and democracy in our country. Wasn't CBI director illegally removed at midnight to stall the probe in Rafale scam which directly leads to PM himself," tweeted Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
10:52 am: SC reinstates Alok Verma but restrains him from taking big decisions.
10:49 am: SC quashes governments order divesting Alok Verma of his power and sending him on leave
10:45 am: Justice S K Kaul has started hearing of the case.
The interim charge of the probe agency was given to CBI's Joint Director M Nageswara Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer.
On December 6, after hearing arguments on behalf of Verma, the Centre, the CVC and others, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved the judgement.
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The court had also heard the plea moved by NGO Common Cause which had sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the allegations of corruption against various CBI officials, including Asthana.
Verma's two-year tenure as CBI director ends on January 31. He has moved the top court challenging the Centre's decision.
The Centre had justified its decision to divest Verma of his duties and sending him on leave before the apex court saying he and Asthana were fighting like "Kilkenny cats", exposing the country's premier investigating agency to "public ridicule".
Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, that the Centre was well "within its right to intervene" and send both officers on leave by divesting them of their powers.
Venugopal had told the court that "only the God knows where and how this fight between the two top officers would have ended" if the government would not have taken the action which was aimed at restoring the public faith in the CBI.
Challenging the government's decision, Verma's counsel and senior advocate Fali S Nariman had argued that the CBI Director was appointed on February 1, 2017, and "the position of law is that there will be a fixed tenure of two years and this gentleman cannot be even transferred".
Nariman had said there was no basis for the CVC to pass an order recommending that Verma be sent on leave.
(With PTI inputs)