Law Secy Assured ‘Govt Protection’ to Sathish Sana: CBI DIG To SC
CBI Deputy Inspector General (Nagpur) MK Sinha, on Monday, 19 November, filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court, demanding an urgent hearing on his application challenging his transfer.
The petition brought to light a conversation between Sinha and Sathish Sana – the Hyderabad-based businessman who levelled bribery allegations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana – that indicates the government was trying to influence the key complainant in the bribery case during the CVC probe against CBI Director Alok Verma.
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‘Union Minister Took Crores from Sathish Sana’: CBI Officer to SC
CBI Officer Manish Kumar Sinha told the Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, that a Union minister had taken “a few crores” as bribe to intervene on the behalf of a Hyderabad-based businessman who is under the agency’s radar.
In a petition to the top court, Sinha said that businessman Sathish Sana had claimed to have paid the bribe to Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, presently the Minister of State for Coal and Mines.
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Alok Verma Files Response to CVC Findings
CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma filed his response Monday to the findings of the CVC’s preliminary probe report on corruption charges against him in a sealed cover in the Supreme Court after he was told to do so “as quickly as possible” as the scheduled Tuesday hearing on his plea would not be deferred.
Verma, who was asked to file his response to the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) report in a sealed cover by Monday 1 pm, sought some more time from the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for filing his reply with the secretary general of the apex court around 12.40 pm.
“We are not shifting the date (of hearing). You file it as quickly as possible as we will have to read it,” the bench, also comprising justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, told Verma’s lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan.
Nothing Shocks Us: SC On Another Call for ‘Urgent Hearing’ by CBI Officer
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday, 19 November, declined giving an early hearing to a petition by CBI Joint Director Manish Kumar Sinha, the investigator in the probe against Rakesh Asthana, who had moved the court challenging his sudden transfer to Nagpur.
Sinha’s lawyer had told the CJI that he wished to bring some “shocking facts” to the top court.
Dismissing the call for an urgent hearing, CJI Gogoi retorted saying: “Nothing shocks us.”
CBI Director Alok Verma Files Reply to CVC Report
CBI Director Alok Verma, who was initially given time till 1 pm to file his reply to the CVC report against him, that was later extended by the court to 4 pm, filed his reply in a sealed cover, in the Supreme Court.
The matter will now be heard in court on Tuesday, 20 November.
CBI Will Be Called ‘Centre For Bogus Investigation’ if Probe Not Completed: Sinha
CBI Officer MK Sinha, who had moved the court earlier in the day against his transfer to Nagpur, said that if the investigations into allegations against Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana were not completed “expeditiously,” then CBI would come to stand for “Centre for Bogus Investigation” and ED would stand for “Extortion Directorate.”
SC Dismisses Verma’s Plea for Tue Meeting to be Adjourned
The Supreme Court on Monday, 19 November, said that it will not adjourn the hearing in the case, which is fixed for Tuesday, 20 November, based on CBI Director Alok Verma’s plea against the government’s decision to divest him of duties.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi further urged Verma to file his reply to the CVC report, as “quickly as possible”, so that it could be read within the day.
“We are not shifting the date. You file as quickly as possible. We will have to read the response,” the bench said.
To this, the lawyer said the response will be filed during the day itself.
Alok Verma to File Reply to CVC Report by 4 pm
CBI Director Alok Verma on Monday, 19 November, sought more time to file a reply on CVC report. While he was initially supposed to file his reply at 1 pm, the Supreme Court has now given him time till 4 pm to file it.
CBI Officer Probing FIR Against Asthana Moves SC
Manish Kumar Sinha, IPS officer and head of the team investigating CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, moved the Supreme Court against his transfer to Nagpur and seeking SIT probe in Asthana case, on Monday, 19 November.
Sinha mentioned his plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for urgent hearing on Tuesday, 20 November. Sinha asked that his plea be heard along with the one on CBI Director, Alok Verma, who has been accused of bribery charges.
Supreme Court Order on 16 November
The SC ordered, “We have perused the report of the CVC. We are of the view that, at this stage, and before taking any decision thereon a copy of the report of the CVC should be furnished by the Registry of this Court, in sealed cover, to the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner Alok Kumar Verma.”
“We order accordingly. It will be open for the petitioner in writ petition to file his response to the said report of the CVC again in sealed cover,” the apex court added.
No Decision on Matter Today
The Supreme Court on 16 November took no decision on the Alok Verma case, handing over the report filed by the CVC in the matter to Verma’s lawyer. Verma is expected to filed a counter-report on Monday, and the matter has now been posted to Tuesday.
The CJI, while hearing the case, commented that the CVC’s report was “mixed”, adding that a further probe would be required with respect to some of the allegations against Verma.
Meanwhile, Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, appealed for the CVC report to be made public. The CJI declined Rohatgi’s request, reported LiveLaw.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the Central Vigilance Commission report should also be given to Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
What Has Happened So Far?
Following the temporary leave issued to CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana over infighting stemming from bribery allegations, IPS officer M Nageswara Rao was appointed the interim director of the investigative agency.
On Friday, the bench was also expected to consider the report of acting CBI director M Nageswara Rao also filed in a sealed cover in the court with regard to the decisions taken by him from 23-26 October.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, on November 3, moved the Supreme Court against the removal of Verma, terming it “completely illegal, arbitrary, punitive, and without jurisdiction.”
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