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CBI says it would follow the SC order in letter and spirit

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) The CBI said on Friday it would follow in ‘letter and spirit” the Supreme Court order directing the CVC to complete its probe into bribery allegations involving CBI Director Alok Verma.

The court has asked the Central Vigilance Commission to complete the probe under the supervision of a retired apex court judge, Justice AK Patnaik, in two weeks.

Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said, “We will follow the SC order in letter and spirit and whenever necessary, we will seek legal opinion.”

Making it clear that prolonging the inquiry was not in the nation’s best interest, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph said the inquiry would be conducted on the allegations contained in the Cabinet Secretary’s August 24 note to the CVC.

As Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that the inquiry should not be on the allegation against Verma but also on the allegations raised against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, Chief Justice Gogoi said: “We are only concerned with Verma.”

The court also asked the officiating Director M. Nageswara Rao not to take any policy or major decision except for routine ones.

It directed all decisions taken by Rao “after taking over charge till this hour” (when the order was being dictated) to be submitted to the court in a sealed envelope by November 12.

The court said it may reverse or retain Rao’s decisions.

In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Verma of his charge and made Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao interim director.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between CBI chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.

Asthana was also divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday.

Verma and Asthana had been at war for nearly a year now. Both the top officials have levelled allegations of bribery against each other in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case.

–IANS
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