SC livid over leak of response by CBI chief to CVC’s report
New Delhi, November 20
The Supreme Court today took strong exception to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma’s confidential response to the CVC report on corruption allegations against him getting ‘leaked’ to the media and adjourned the hearing in his case to November 29.
Verma’s response was filed in a sealed cover on Monday.
“This is not a platform for anybody to come and express what they want. This is a platform for adjudication of legal rights… We intend to set it right,” said Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who was apparently furious at the conduct of warring CBI officials.
“One of us, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, is not here till November 28… We don’t think anyone of you (Verma and other CBI officers) deserves a hearing,” the CJI said, adjourning the hearing.
The dramatic developments come a day after CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha’s startling allegations against several senior functionaries, accusing them of attempting to interfere in the investigation against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
The CJI refused to take up urgent mentioning of cases and straightaway went on to hear Verma’s petition against the Centre’s decision to divest him of his powers and send him on leave.
At the very outset, the Chief Justice of India handed over to senior advocate Fali S Nariman, representing Verma, a copy of a report by a news portal, which purportedly published Verma’s response that was filed in the top court in a sealed cover.
“We have not given this to you as a counsel for Alok Verma… We have given this to you as the seniormost member of this institution (judiciary),” the Chief Justice of India told Nariman, who expressed surprise over publication of documents submitted to the court in a sealed cover.
“It’s not responsible reporting. We want a free press but it should be responsible as well,” Nariman said. He also told the Bench that on Monday Verma’s matter was mentioned before it without any authorisation by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan. After the Bench adjourned the matter, Nariman and other advocates representing various parties left the court.
But after sometime, Nariman came back and told the Bench that he wanted to say something after it was done with the cases on the list. Nariman said the news article published on November 17 related to Verma’s reply given to the CVC during the preliminary enquiry proceedings while the order asking the CBI chief to respond to the vigilance probe’s finding was passed only the previous day.