Complete enquiry against Alok Verma in two weeks; Interim CBI chief can’t take any policy decisions: SC to CVC

Oct 27, 2018 10:05 IST
Interim CBI chief cannot take any policy decisions: Supreme Court on CBI feud

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on October 26, 2018 ruled that Interim Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), M Nageswara Rao, is not authorised to take any policy decisions.

The decisions taken by Rao between October 23 -26, including transfers of investigations, change of Investigating Officers, etc. will be furnished before the apex court in a sealed cover on November 12, 2018.

From now on, Nageshwar Rao shall not take any policy or major decisions and will only perform the routine processes to keep the CBI functioning.

Complete enquiry against Alok Verma in two weeks

CJI Gogoi also directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete enquiry into divested CBI chief Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana cases in two weeks under retired Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik.

The Court clarified that the allocation of supervision of investigation to a former SC judge was a one-time exception and it should not be understood as reflection on any authority of Government of India.

Who filed the petition?

The bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph was hearing the petition filed by CBI Director Alok Verma and PIL filed by NGO Common Cause against the orders of CVC and Central Government divesting Verma of the powers of CBI Director and giving the charge of CBI to M. Nageshwara Rao.


After a spell of internal strife in the CBI, the CVC and Central Government divested CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana from their roles and asked them to go on leave.

Verma and Asthana accused each other of taking bribe and blocking investigation of several important cases.

Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana removed from their CBI posts

Central Bureau of Investigation

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India.
  • Operating under the jurisdiction of the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the CBI is headed by the Director.
  • The Director is an IPS officer with a rank of Director General of Police or Commissioner of Police (State) and is appointed for a term of two years.

Appointment of CBI Director

The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act empowers a high-power Committee to appoint the Director of CBI. The committee comprises:

  • Prime Minister (Chairperson)
  • Leader of Opposition
  • Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge recommended by the Chief Justice

Jurisdiction of CBI

Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act covers investigations to be carried out by the CBI, if an offence is alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, with a prior approval of the Central Government.

The CBI investigate cases that flow from the DSPE Act. The Central Government has the power to extend the jurisdiction of the CBI to any area, except union territories, that falls within the geographical boundaries of our country, subject to the consent of the state concerned.

Removal process of CBI Director

In the Vineet Narain judgment, the Supreme Court had fixed the tenure of CBI Director to be a minimum of two years so that the officer could work with independence.

As per the Supreme Court order, “the Director of CBI shall have a minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation. This would ensure that an officer suitable in all respects is not ignored merely because he has less than two years to superannuate from the date of his appointment”.

The apex court had also ruled that the director can be transferred only in “extraordinary” circumstances with the approval of Selection Committee comprising Central Vigilance Commissioner with the Home Secretary and Secretary (Personnel) as members.

Affidavit filed by Government: As per the affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court by the government during hearings on coalgate scam case, the CBI director is appointed by a collegium comprising of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition. The CBI director cannot be appointed or removed without the consent of this collegium.

As per the affidavit, the CBI Director can be removed before expiry of fixed tenure of minimum two years on the ground of misbehaviour only. The President can issue such an order only after an inquiry.


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