On October 26, the Supreme Court had asked the CVC to probe corruption charges levelled against Verma by his No. 2, special director Rakesh Asthana, and submit a report within two weeks, when the case is listed for hearing. The court had also appointed Justice AK Patnaik to head the CVC committee probing the charges.
In an order on October 23, the CVC had divested Verma of all his powers as CBI director and instructed him “not to exercise any function, power, duty and supervisory role in respect of cases already registered or required to be registered..” till the commission vacates its interim order. Based on the CVC order, the government placed a joint-director level officer as acting chief of CBI till the time the CVC probe against Verma is completed.
After he was divested of his charge by the government, Verma had approached the SC calling the action illegal and sought reinstatement as he had a fixed tenure of two years. The plea also said that any decision on the removal of the CBI director should be taken by a collegium consisting of the PM, the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India – the panel responsible for his appointment.
This is the first submission of Verma before the commission after the SC-directed probe began late last month. Earlier, chief vigilance commissioner KV Chowdary had said that the commission had received all the files required to probe allegations made by Asthana. Based on the findings of the court-monitored CVC probe, the SC will take a view on the legality of the government’s action divesting the CBI director of his charge.