CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s order on interim CBI chief does not stop agency from probing cases, says Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said its order restraining acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao from taking any policy decision does not mean that the agency would stop investigating the cases. A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said the order that Rao should not take policy decisions was passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi but it did not in any way mean that the CBI would not investigate any matter.

A bench headed by the CJI, while hearing a petition by CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, who has challenged the Centre’s decision to divest him of his duties and sending him on leave, had earlier said that the acting CBI Director would not take major policy decisions. This issue cropped up before the apex court on Wednesday when it was hearing the case of alleged sexual and physical abuse of inmates in several shelter homes in Bihar. The court had on Tuesday asked the CBI counsel to take instructions as to whether the agency was ready to take over the probe into cases of abuse in 16 shelter homes in Bihar.

On Wednesday, the counsel told the bench, “The interim director has told me that court number one (of the apex court) has asked him not to take any policy decision. Tomorrow, the CBI case is coming up in court number one.” To this, the bench, also comprising justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said: “It (order) does say that he (Rao) will not take any policy decision but that does not mean that all investigation will stop. “Tomorrow’s matter (before the CJI-led bench) has nothing to do with this, absolutely nothing. You find out if the CBI is ready to take up the investigation. Tell us after five minutes.” Later, the CBI’s counsel said he has taken instructions from the acting director and “in-principle” the CBI was ready to take up all these cases for investigation.

The apex court directed the CBI to conduct probe into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse of inmates in 16 shelter homes in Bihar which were flagged in a report of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The report had highlighted rampant sexual and physical abuse of inmates in several shelter homes in the state.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal