Narendra Modi is the first prime minister to have "his illegal orders set aside by the Supreme Court", the Congress said on Tuesday after the apex court reinstated CBI director Alok Kumar Verma.
Other parties also joined the Congress to say the apex court had dealt a blow to the government with its order reinstating Verma and setting aside the Centre's decision divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.
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The apex court, however, restrained him from taking any major policy decision till the Central Vigilance Commission inquiry is over.
"Modiji adds another 1st to his list. After being the first PM to be exposed destroying the #CBI before the SC, After having ruined CVC’s credibility (requiring supervision by former SC judge),Mr. Modi has now become 1st PM to have his illegal orders set aside by the SC," tweeted Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
He asked Modi to remember that governments had come and gone but the integrity of institutions had survived.
"Let this be a lesson to you about the strength of our democracy and the Constitution. Let this be a lesson that howsoever despotic u may be, law catches up in the end," Surjewala said on Twitter.
Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha described the order as a "big slap" on the face of the government.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the order was a direct indictment of the government.
"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?" the Aam Aadmi Party chief said on Twitter.
Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan said the Supreme Court order was a partial victory for Verma.
"He has been restored but strangely he has been restrained from taking any policy decisions," he said.
Delivering its order, the apex court said any further decision against Verma would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI director.
The judgement was pronounced by a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.
Verma's two-year tenure as CBI director ends on January 31.