New Delhi, Taking exception to a leak of CBI Director Alok Verma’s response to the CVC’s report submitted in sealed cover before it a day ago, the Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing of the case till November 29.
A visibly unhappy Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in a brief order, said “for reasons not to be recorded, we are not inclined to hear the matter today” after a news portal carried extracts of Verma’s response.
Gogoi also said one of the two judges on the bench — Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph — “will be away from tonight”.
At the outset, the Chief Justice, disallowing the customary mentioning, asked senior counsel Fali Nariman to look at a report which was given to him.
“It is only for you (Nariman) to read yourself it is not for counsel for Alok Verma” (Nariman is appearing for Verma), Gogoi told the senior counsel.
Addressing him as the “most respected senior member of the institution”, Gogoi added: “If you wish to respond to this, we will adjourn the hearing from an hour”.
However, Nariman expressing his ignorance over the publication, said: “I was also disturbed on seeing it. I will request the court to summon the person who carried this report.”
He also added while the “media is free, but at the same time it has to be responsible. It has to be both. It is my reading of the media. Responsible means responsible and not responsible to someone”.
Referring to media reports that a mentioning was made on Monday seeking more time to file Verma’s response to the Central Vigilance Commissioner report, Nariman clarified that the lawyer who made the request was totally unauthorised and he (Nariman) was not even informed about it.
“It was not informed to me. I was not aware. Nobody asked him to make mentioning. We worked whole night to prepare (Verma’s) response. It was totally unauthorised.”
“I was as disturbed,” Nariman said when he saw newspaper reports in the morning.