Will Follow Supreme Court Order "In Letter And Spirit", Says CBI

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Two, it ruled that Nageshwar Rao appointed by the government in place of Alok Verma", -in what the government now claims is an "interim measure"-cannot take any policy decisions and can at best oversee the functioning of the agency".

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on October 24 that the government's decision to remove Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana was based on the CVC's recommendations.

CBI's Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were sent on forced leave after days of tussle between them. The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi will hear the matter on Friday.

NGO Common Cause also filed a similar PIL seeking quashing of adverse orders by the government against Alok Verma.

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Three, it set a time frame for the inquiry report to be submitted within two weeks before the next hearing.

The court made it clear the supervision of the probe by a former supreme court judge was a "one-time exception" given the "peculiar facts" of the case and does not cast reflection on any authority of the government. "Chowkidar chor hai (Watchman is a thief)", he said in a brief address to a crowd of Congress workers outside the CBI headquarters in Lodhi Road area in south Delhi.

Rao also has the charge of additional director, along with A K Sharma and Praveen Sinha, both from the Gujarat cadre.

"The prime minister acted against the CBI director as a result of panic and as a result of fear because he has helped Mr Ambani", Gandhi said as he left the police station.

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The court's order came as another blow to the BJP government at the Centre.

Senior jurist Fali Nariman represented Verma in the court, while former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi represented Asthana, according to News18. "There are bound to be occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries don't take the direction that may be desirable to the government", he emphasised in his petition.

Though the CBI has clarified that Verma is still the chief and only temporarily asked to go on leave pending probe into allegations of misconduct against him, the Congress remained defiant in its demand for his reinstatement. He has assailed the decision of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) giving Rao, the charge as head of the probe agency.

Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing on behalf of NGO Common Cause, had indicated the CVC's own approach, in context of Mr. Asthana's appointment as the CBI Special Director a year ago, of not taking view of complaints received against an officer at the last instant on the verge of Appointment except in cases of proved misconduct.

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