The Supreme Court while expressing anguish over the alleged leak of CBI Director Alok Verma’s response to a CVC report has adjourned the hearing of his plea challenging the government’s decision to divest him of his duties.
The court, while adjourning the hearing to November 29, also expressed displeasure over publication of graft allegations by CBI DIG M K Sinha against senior officers.
The top court adjourned the matter twice, soon after the hearing began and again later in the day.
Irked over the alleged leak of Verma’s confidential response to the Central Vigilance Commission’s findings on corruption charges against him, the top court said none of “you deserve any hearing”.
“We don’t think any of you deserve any hearing,” Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said, adjourning the matter for the first time.
However, the court agreed to hear Verma’s plea after finishing the day’s hearing after his lawyers Fali S Nariman and Gopal Shankaranarayanan mentioned the case again before a bench headed by Gogoi.
The CBI director in his plea has challenged the government’s decision of divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave.
Later, the bench recommenced the hearing, making it clear at the outset that it was not going to hear any party and would confine itself to the issues red flagged by it.
Miffed over the alleged leak in a media portal, the bench, which also comprised justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, said it wanted to keep Verma’s response confidential to maintain the CBI’s dignity.
Taking umbrage of various media reports based on the petition filed by Sinha, Gogoi said, “But here is a litigant who mentions it before us and then goes out to distribute the petition to everyone.”
Sinha dragged the names of NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and CVC K V Chowdhury over alleged attempts to interfere in the probe against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave along with his boss.
The bench said, “This court is not a platform for people to come and express whatever they want.”
“This is a place where people come for adjudication of their legal rights. This is not a platform and we will set it right,” it said.
The top court again adjourned hearing to November 29 and refused to hear any party, including the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).