Thursday , March 30 2023

CVC's lawyer wants the CS to receive a CVC survey report against the CBI chief


NEW DELHI: The crucial hearing due to the CBI took place on Friday, when the lawyer of the Central Vigilance Commission asked the Supreme Court to allow him "access" to the CBC's preliminary investigative report against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma.

"Are you the author of the report and you have not seen it?" Ranjan Gogoi, Deputy General General Tushar Mehta, who appears in CVC, said.

Mehta told the bank that although he represented the CVC in this matter, he did not see the report as a lawyer.

Referring to the previous direction of the court, that the investigation report should be submitted in a sealed cover, Mehta said: "I said that since the court asked me to lodge (the report) in the sealed cover, only the court. "

"Please allow me access to this report," he told the bank, including the judges S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

General Prosecutor K K Venugopal, who appeared at the Center, also said he had asked Mehta the report and the Advocate General said he had not even seen it.

The bank ordered the CVC report to be sent to Venugopal and Mehta's offices in a sealed cover.

He also said that a copy of the report along with the attachment would also be given to Verma in a sealed cover and that "it would be open" for him to submit his answer "back in the sealed cover" by the hour 19:00 on November 19th.

The Bank stated that the confidentiality of the CVC report was necessary "taking into account the need to preserve and maintain the CBI's sanctity and public confidence in that institution".

He also said that only Verma will respond to the CVC report.

Verma approached the high court by challenging the Center's decision to drop her duties and send him off on leave following his struggle with CBI's special director, Rakesh Asthana, who filed charges of corruption against him.

During the hearing, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the leader of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, said the bank should hear him.

"Who are you?" The Bank asked Sibal, who replied: "Mr Kharge."

"The opposition leader or the largest party, I forgot about you," CJI said, adding that Kharge's reason would be heard on November 20th.

On November 4, Kharge moved the court to the effect that Verma's division of statutory powers and functions was "completely illegal and arbitrary." First lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, who appeared for CBI MP SP AK Bassi, also referred to an official request that was one of the FIR investigation officers against Asthana in connection with allegations of corruption, challenging his transfer to Port Blair.

"Port Blair, the right place to go," said CJI in a light vein.

The bank said that Bassi's reason will also be heard at the next hearing.

At the end of the hearing, Mehta told the court that, according to the scheme of the CVC Act, the report can not be provided to a person subject to the investigation if an additional investigation is required.

"We also clarify that the present ordinance requesting the presentation of the CVC report in a cover sealed to the petitioner's lawyer (Verma) is also made in the particular facts of the case as a single measure," he underlined in his order.

In addition to Verma's application, the court also heard a separate petition filed by the Common Cause NGO, which searched for a case by a special investigation team against CBI officers.

The court of first instance issued the Center's notices and the CVC sought the answers to the Verma petition, challenging the government's decision to quit its CBI head and send it to leave.

It also set a two-week deadline for the CVC to complete the preliminary investigation against the CBI Director.

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