Presenting an absolutely opposite view from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in the CBI Director Alok Verma case, Retired Supreme Court judge A.K. Patnaik, on Friday said that there was “no evidence of corruption” against Verma and “what the CVC says cannot be the final word”.
Justice Patnaik was asked by the Supreme Court to supervise the CVC enquiry that eventually led to the sacking of Verma.
“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,” Justice Patnaik told The Indian Express.
“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,” he added.
Setting aside the CVC’s October 23 order divesting Verma of all powers and sending him on an indefinite leave, the apex court on January 8 had reinstated Verma as the CBI Director.
However, just two days later, Verma was removed from the post of CBI director on January 10 by a high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Committee said Verma “had not acted with the integrity expected of him.”
PM Modi and Justice Sikri, two of the three members of the panel, were in the favour of removing Verma from his post on the basis of the CVC report and “the extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against Verma”.
On the other hand, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge did not agree with the two members. He submitted a dissent note mentioning that Verma should be allowed to explain himself before any decision is taken in the case.
Verma was then transferred to the post of the Director General Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
He claimed that he was transferred “on the basis of false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations” made by only one person, who was inimical to him.
Verma refused to join the new posting and quit.