Decision next week on CBI chief’s reinstatement

New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India-led 3-judge Bench is likely to give its ruling next week that it reserved on Thursday on CBI Director Alok Verma’s petition for reinstatement after lengthy hearing as the Supreme Court proceeds on the Christmas holidays after December 14 and reopen only in January.

Verma’ tenure is only up to January 31 and the process has already begun to select his successor, with the home ministry sending a dozen names of senior IPS officers for the post. Aware of this fact, the Supreme Court may not delay its decision.  In a related but separate development, Verma on Friday moved Delhi High Court to dismiss a petition filed by his deputy special director Rakesh Asthana to quash an FIR registered against him by the CBI. Asthana was sent on leave along with Verma in a midnight order on October 23 and his petition against that is also pending in the Supreme Court.

Verma justified the FIR filed against Asthana on his orders, pointing out that there are “serious allegations of corruption and extortion” against his deputy that need a thorough investigation and the High Court can not interfere when the investigation is still on. He said the registration of the FIR was in compliance of all the existing laws, regulations and made after following due procedure.

“The FIR is validly and legally registered based on cogent material disclosing cognizable offences and it does not require any interference (by the Court) at this stage as the investigation into the serious allegations has yet to be carried out and, therefore, the instant petition ought to be rejected and dismissed,” Verma said in a statement filed before the High Court on his behalf.

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