SC reinstates Alok Verma as CBI chief: Rahul Gandhi says 'some justice', claims possible Rafale probe was reason for removal

Reacting to the Supreme Court order reinstating Alok Verma to the post of CBI director, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that Verma had been divested of his powers "at 1 am" because he was "planning to investigate the Rafale deal", and added that "some justice" had been done with his reinstatement.

Rahul, reiterting his accusations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, said, "No one and nothing can save the prime minister from Rafale. I want to know whether the defence ministry raised on objection when Modi bypassed the old Rafale deal." Claiming that "Rafale is the truth", Rahul said that the nation is going to know with "100 percent surety" that "Modi took money" and gave it to "his friend".

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan had also said that Verma was asked to go on leave because he had been planning to probe the Rafale deal.

Bhushan termed the apex court's order on Tuesday as a "partial victory for Verma" and said the court "ought to have restored him with full powers". In its order on Tuesday, the top court said that Verma is forbidden to take major policy decisions as CBI director until a selection committee meets and decides on his fate.

While the apex court's order overturning the Centre's decision of his duties has been praised by legislators and Twitterati alike, concerns have also been raised about how the Narendra Modi-led BJP government had "arm-twisted" the system and "interfered" into the workings of the CBI.

Bhushan, along with former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, filed a complaint against the Centre's order divesting Verma of his powers—which named Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then-defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The petitioners urged the agency to file an FIR against them for alleged range of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation.

Addressing a press conference, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "The government had taken this action of sending two senior officers of the CBI on leave on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission. This action was taken perfectly bonafide."

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed the Supreme Court's decision and said it was a "lesson" for the government.

Congress' Twitter handle also sent out a tweet saying the verdict has "lambasted" the government's "illegal" removal of Verma.     

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi meanwhile sent out a tweet moments after the verdict was out, criticising the court's order to not let Verma take calls on major policy decisions.

In a press conference, Singhvi also said how the prime minister is "experiencing Rafaleophobia". He said the fighter jet scam had led to the demolition of the pillars of the Indian investigating agency. Reacting to the verdict, a CBI source was quoted by News18 as saying, "The uncertainty that was there in the past two months will continue. What constitutes policy decision to be interpreted." Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also took to Twitter and praised the apex court's verdict.

Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the verdict is a "direct indictment of the PM".

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned how will the Centre will compensate for those "three months" of suffering that Verma had to undergo after he was forcefully sent on leave. 

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 14:36:04 IST

Also See