All eyes on SC

The internal fight in the premier investigation agency of country the central bureau of investigation (CBI) has snowballed into major controversy embarrassing the Narendra Modi led BJP government at centre. Alok Verma, the CBI chief and his no. 2 special director Rakesh Asthana has both been exiled into leave by the centre in a midnight coup. Verma had initiated action against Asthana over bribery allegation by lodging an FIR. As the fight was getting ugly, centre intervene by sending both to a forced leave and appointing an interim director. This move of centre has further opened more cans of worms. Verma who has challenged the move of central government in Supreme Court has told SC that autonomy of CBI is being compromised. Apex court will hear his plea on Friday.
The opposition parties alleged that Verma was removed from CBI chief as he sought papers on alleged Rafael scam. This whole issue is expected to get murkier in days to come. Mr Asthana is known for his proximity to BJP chief Amit Shah and Mr Verma’s removal is seen as a major victory for him. He was made No. 2 in the CBI though he was tainted by allegations of accepting favours and bribes and was named in six cases being investigated by the CBI. Now all eyes will on Supreme Court. Onus lies with it to restore the independence of CBI. Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain judgment fixed the tenure of minimum of two years for the CBI director to allow the officer to work with independence. It also ruled that the director could be transferred only under extraordinary circumstances. The transfer needs to be approved by the selection committee comprising Prime Minister as the chairperson, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition.