Entire enquiry held on Asthana’s complaint, none of the findings in the CVC’s report are mine, says former SC judge A.K. Patnaik

New Delhi: Former Supreme Court Judge A.K. Patnaik, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the preliminary probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into complaints against ousted CBI director Alok Verma, Saturday termed the decision of the Prime Minister-led selection committee to shunt Verma from his post “very, very hasty”.

“There was no evidence against Verma regarding corruption. The entire enquiry was held on (CBI special director Rakesh) Asthana’s complaint. I have said in my report that none of the findings in the CVC’s report are mine,” the judge, who submitted his own report to the Supreme Court, told the Indian Express.

On the decision of the high-level committee to remove Verma, the former SC judge said, “Even if the Supreme Court said that the high-power committee must decide, the decision was very, very hasty. We are dealing with an institution here. They should have applied their mind thoroughly, especially as a Supreme Court judge was there. What the CVC says cannot be the final word.”

In his report to the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Patnaik had clarified that the CVC had simply sent him the statement “purportedly signed by Shri Rakesh Asthana”, adding that Asthana had not signed the statement in his presence.


Also read: In siding with govt, Supreme Court has lot to answer on Alok Verma’s ouster as CBI chief


Kharge’s dissent note

On Tuesday, the SC had set aside the Narendra Modi government’s October 23 decision to divest Verma of his charge and send him on leave. While doing so, the bench had restrained Verma from “taking any major policy decisions” till the high-level committee decided the issue of “divestment of power and authority of the Director”.

Verma was removed from his post Wednesday by the selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri, who represented Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi at the meeting, and leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

While the Prime Minister and Justice Sikri decided to remove him as CBI chief, Kharge gave a detailed dissent note, pointing out that charges against him that need a probe are not significant

However, Verma Friday resigned from the Indian Police Service (IPS) with immediate effect.


Also read: Not Supreme Court but Narendra Modi-led panel will have the final word on Alok Verma


 

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  1. Speaking as a lay person, some things stand out. Shri Alok Verma served for forty years in the IPS without blemish. The major complaint against him came from a colleague who had a grudge against him, who the Delhi High Court has ruled yesterday should be probed by the CBI for corruption. The decision to divest him of his powers, based on the CVC’s hurried recommendation was struck down by the apex court. Any report drafted by the CVC – whom the Court did not trust fully, hence the association of Justice Patnaik with the exercise – ought to have been viewed a little sceptically. In any case, the CVC wanted some allegations to be examined further, either through a departmental enquiry or a criminal investigation. Nothing stood proved against Mr Verma. True, a person in such a sensitive post ought to be Mrs Caesar, but he was retiring in three weeks. His functioning had been curtailed by the Court. Allowing him to complete his tenure would have been the graceful thing to do. Issues flagged by the CVC could have been enquired into impartially even later.

  2. the situation gets murkier and murkier. The SC appears badly compromised. Or the SC is having severe internal communication issues. Maybe another press conference is required to set the SC right. It is entirely possible that all judges do not think alike, however these are matters of extreme importance to the nation and the common man. Interpretation of statements cannot be allowed to mar judgments – especially in this age of digital communication and the possibility of clarification of remarks. Looks disgraceful

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