In a big relief to Alok Verma, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated him as CBI Director and quashed the Centre’s notification divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.
However, the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph restrained Alok Verma from taking any major policy decision till the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry is over.
The bench also made it clear that any further decision against Verma would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints CBI Director. It said the meeting of the committee should be convened within a week.
Alok Verma's two-year tenure as CBI Director ends on January 31.
Pronouncing the judgement on behalf of Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice Kaul said that the selection committee will meet within seven days from Tuesday and till then Verma will resist from taking any important policy decisions.
The selection committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
The Supreme Court pronounced the judgement on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation Director and NGO Common Cause challenging the government's decision on the intervening night of October 23-24 to divest Verma of his charge as head of the investigating agency.
The court also set aside the Centre's decision to appoint senior IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who was the joint director, as the interim chief of the agency.
Watch: Supreme Court reinstates Alok Verma
By the verdict, the apex court has set aside the Centre's decision of October 23 divesting Verma of his powers as CBI chief and sending him on leave.
The Centre had taken the decision against Verma and CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana after their feud had become public as they levelled allegations of corruption against each other.
(With agency inputs)