The selection committee on the CBI chief met on Wednesday evening to discuss the government’s move to divest CBI Director Alok Verma of his powers, functions and duties including supervisory role in the wake of a complaint by the Special Director, Rakesh Asthana.
The meeting, held in the wake of Supreme Court judgement, was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A.K. Sikri who represented Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
Sources said that the Central Vigilance Commission handed over files related to Verma to the committee at Wednesday’s meeting. They said another meeting of the committee is expected to take place on Thursday.
Kharge had earlier asked the government to defer the meeting since he hadn’t studied the Supreme Court’s order due to his presence in Parliament.
He had asked for the meeting to be held on January 11.
Chief Justice Gogoi, sources said, stayed away from the meeting as he authored the judgement by which Verma was on Tuesday reinstated as CBI Director and his powers were restored albeit with a rider that he would “cease and desist” from taking any “major policy” decisions and only attend routine functions.
The top court while overturning the CVC and Central government’s October 23 decision divesting Verma of his power to function as CBI Director had said that the issue of divesting Verma of powers and functions may be considered by the committee under Section 4A(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
The court had said that Alok Verma’s case be considered by the committee within a week’s time from its judgment on Tuesday.
Section 4A(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act says the Central government shall appoint the CBI Director on the recommendation of the committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha or that of single largest opposition party and the Chief Justice of India or Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him (CJI).