The second-most senior judge of Supreme Court, Justice AK Sikri has been nominated as the third member of the three-member committee which would look into the allegations against Alok Verma which led to him being divested of his duties as the CBI Director on October 23, a day after the apex court's decision to reinstate him to the post for an interim period.
The committee consists of the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India, but present CJI Ranjan Gogoi has decided to name Justice Sikri in his place. He has done so owing to him being part of the bench which had originally heard the petition of Verma seeking quashing of CVC order of October 23.
On Monday, the two-judge bench of SC had given it's verdict on the plea of Verma against the October 23 order of CVC, which saw him being divested of his duties. The apex court ruled that the CBI director would retain his position for the interim period, but took away his powers to take policy decisions till the time the committee is probing the allegations against him.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi had raised questions over the timing of the CVC order and asked why the government took immediate steps to divest Verma of his powers without consulting the Selection Committee.
Attorney General KK Venugopal appearing for the DoPT had told the bench that the government was well within its jurisdiction to send both officers (Verma and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana) on leave by divesting them of their powers. Venugopal had defended the Centre's decision over sending Verma on leave and said that the dispute between Verma and Asthana was tarnishing the reputation of the institution.
The verdict was pronounced by Justice SK Kaul, on account of CJI Ranjan Gogoi not being present in court. The CJI bench had reserved its order on December 6, 2018, after hearing the arguments of Verma, the central government, the CVC, NGO Common Cause, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and others who are a party in the case.