Supreme Court reinstates Alok Verma as CBI Director

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Supreme Court reinstates Alok Verma as CBI Director:UPSC IAS Exam

The Supreme Court  “re-instated” exiled CBI Director Alok Verma, but ordered him to “cease and desist” from taking any major policy decisions till a high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides afresh the question of his divestment.

Background:

These allegations, based on a complaint filed by rival CBI officer R.K. Asthana, had led to a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry and his divestment from office. The court itself has not commented on the merits of these allegations.

Key Facts:

  • Thus the court, though placing Mr. Verma back on the saddle, has effectively clipped his wings. His authority as CBI Director would be confined to “ongoing routine functions” till the Prime Minister-led committee decides.
  •  The court ordered him not to undertake “any fresh initiative” with major policy or institutional implications in the interregnum.
  •  It dismissed the claims of superintendence over the CBI made by the government and the CVC.
  •  The Alok Verma divestment case has led the Supreme Court to further protect the tenure of the CBI Director and the independence of the country’s premier investigative agency from interference by political higher-ups.
  •  With this judgment, the Supreme Court has protected the tenure of the CBI Director. It has interpreted Section 4B (2) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act of 1946 to expand the meaning of the word ‘transfer’ to include divestment and dispossession of CBI Director, quite like what happened to Mr. Verma.

Vineet Narain Case:

  • Vineet Narain case is about hawala scandal where a journalist Vineet Narain implicated numbers of high ranking politicians and bureaucrats of having financial irregularities and their alleged links with militants across the borders.
  • As a fallout of the PIL by Narain, the  ruled that the Director of the CBI should be appointed on the recommendations of a committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Home Secretary and the Secretary in the Department of Personnel as members. The committee should also take the opinion of the incumbent Director CBI before forwarding their recommendations to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
  • According to the 2003 Act, the Commission exercise superintendence, give directions and review the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in so far as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the
    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Source:The Hindu

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