The Supreme Court of India reserved its order on petitions filed by Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma and NGO Common Cause challenging the government’s move to divest Verma of his powers.

As hearings began, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta what prompted the Centre to take action against Verma overnight on October 23. “When Verma was retiring in few months why not wait for few more months and consult selection committee?” Gogoi asked. “Government has to be fair, what was the difficulty in consulting the selection committee before divesting Alok Verma of his power? The essence of every government action should be to adopt the best course.”

Earlier, the attorney general KK Venugopal who responded to this said the open fight between the top CBI officials — Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana was tarnishing the reputation of the institution and the Central government only intervened to restore the integrity of the premier investigation agency. On the other hand, the National Vigilance Commission informed the Supreme Court that instead of concentrating on the CBI cases, both the officials have formed committees to inquire on each other.

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