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.
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.