Alok Verma resumes office after 77-day forced leave

A day after he was reinstated as the CBI Director by the  Supreme Court, Alok Verma took charge of his office today, 77 days after he was sent on forced leave by the central government through a much-criticised late-night order on October 23, 2018, which was set aside by the Supreme Court.

The October order sent Verma and his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana, booked by the agency on corruption charges, into exile in a first-of-its-kind move by the government in the agency’s history.

The government tried to justify its decision, saying it became necessary amid an unprecedented feud between the two senior-most officials of the agency who had levelled charges of corruption on each other, an argument rejected by the apex court.

Meanwhile, the selection committee on CBI chief comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief justice of India and leader of largest opposition party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to meet today evening to decide on the case of reinstated director Alok Verma.  Senior Supreme Court judge, Justice AK Sikri will be part of the selection committee in place of the chief justice Ranjan Gogoi, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Verma had challenged the move in the Supreme Court which clipped the powers of Rao as director in-charge and barred him from taking any major policy decision till a final order comes from it.In its order Tuesday, the Supreme Court set aside Verma’s forced leave but restrained him from taking any major policy decision till the CVC probe into corruption charges against him is over.

The apex court said any further decision against Verma, who retires on January 31, would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI director.

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