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Former SC judge Katju reveals why Justice AK Sikri backed CBI director Alok Verma’s ouster

Former SC judge Katju reveals why Justice AK Sikri backed CBI director Alok Verma’s ouster

A lot has been said and written about Alok Verma’s ouster. While the Opposition is understandably crying foul, the CVC has given various reasons why Verma was flagged.

Corruption and dereliction of duty flagged by the Central Vigilance Commission in its enquiry report, citing telephone interceptions by external spy agency RAW, led to the unceremonious exit of Alok Verma as the CBI chief, the first in the probe agency's over 50-year history.

According to officials, the high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi considered the CVC report which levelled eight counts of charges against Verma, who had been reinstated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The panel's decision to remove Verma was based on a majority vote of 2:1 with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge opposing it and Justice A K Sikri siding with the government, they said.

Former SC judge Katju, spoke to Justice Sirki and explained his rationale in a Twitter post. Read it below:

Once again about Justice A.K.Sikri

Yesterday I had put up a fb post about Justice A.K.Sikri, Judge, Supreme Court, who was on the 3 member committee which resolved ( by a 2-1 majority ) to remove Alok Verma from the post of Director, CBI.

Many people commented on the post asking why Alok Verma was not given a hearing by the committee before taking its decision , so I telephoned Justice Sikri this morning and asked him what he has to say about this. I also took his permission to put up this post on fb.

Justice Sikri said the following:

1. The CVC had recorded prima facie findings of guilt on some serious charges against Verma on the material before it.

2. The CVC had given a hearing to Verma before recording its prima facie findings

3. In view of these serious prima facie findings of guilt, and after perusing the material on which they were based, Justice Sikri was of the opinion that until the matter was fully investigated and a final decision given about the guilt or innocence of Verma he should not remain on the post of Director, CBI but should be shifted to another post equivalent in rank

4. Verma's service has not been terminated, as some people believe. He has not even been suspended, but only transferred retaining his salary and perks.

5. As regards the question of not giving a hearing to Verma, it is a settled principle that even suspension can be done without giving the accused a hearing, and suspensions pending enquiry are very common. It is only dismissal which cannot be done without a hearing.

6. Verma has not even been suspended, far less dismissed. He has only been transferred to an equivalent post

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