New Delhi, December 5: The Centre which is upset with the controversy involving the country's top most investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), because of its two topmost officials, today told the Supreme Court that the fight between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana ridiculed the agency in public.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing on behalf of the Centre told the bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph that the Centre looks it as a priority to restore public's faith in the premier institution again as the fight of the officials has pulled down the trustworthiness of the agency among public. He added,
"Dispute between CBI Director and Special Director was pulling down integrity and respect of premier institution......Two top officers, Alok Kumar Verma, and Rakesh Asthana were fighting against each other and went public which exposed CBI to ridicule."
It was also clarified that the tussel between them made it essential for the Centre to intervene in the issue to sort out the things. However, he further added that the Centre has taken the decisions under its jurisdiction and maintained,
"If the government had not done so, only God knows where and how this fight between the two top officers would have ended."
Along with Attorney General, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General representing the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in the case also advanced the arguments.
However, the hearing remained inconclusive today and the arguments in the matter will advance tomorrow.
Mr. Alok Verma has challenged the Centre’s order of divesting him of his duties and sending him forcibly on leave along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana for the severe allegations of bribery and criminal conspiracy levelled against him before the Supreme Court.
On November 19, CBI Director Verma has already submitted his response in a sealed cover over the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as per the orders of the Supreme Court.
The issue pertains to the Central government's overnight decision to send Alok Verma on leave citing the internal crisis in the country's top most investigating agency the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), when it registered an FIR against its joint Director Rakesh Asthana.
Nonetheless, the Court has already clarified earlier, that it would consider first that whether the government has the power to divest the CBI director of his duties under any circumstances and would not go into the allegations levelled against each other by the top-officials.