Mumbai : The Central Vigilance Commission on Monday submitted its preliminary probe report against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. The apex court listed the matter for further hearing on November 16.
The SC had on October 26 given two weeks to the CVC to complete the inital probe against Verma who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave by the Centre. The court had appointed former apex court judge AK Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma.
Verma, who has a running feud with Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana, has been appearing before the three-member CVC headed by KV Chowdary and is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled against him by his deputy.
The top court had on October 26 also issued notices to the Centre and the CVC on the plea of Verma. It had also barred IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who has been given interim charge of the CBI, from taking any major decision.
The top court had also said that it will assess the decisions taken by Rao from October 23, including transfer of investigations and change of investigating officers and is likely to pass some appropriate orders on them. The apex court had asked for a list of decisions taken by Rao since he assumed charge to be furnished before it.
The decisions taken by Rao between “October 23, 2018 and up to this hour including decisions with regard to transfer of investigations, change of investigating officer(s) etc will be furnished to the court in a sealed cover on or before November 12, 2018 whereafter orders as would be appropriate will be passed by the court,” the court had said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CVC, had said that the CVC has been conducting an inquiry into the allegations made in the August 24 letter of the Cabinet Secretary with regard to Verma.
Besides the plea filed by Verma, the court is also seized of the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which has sought a probe by special investigation team against CBI officers including Asthana, and had issued notices to the Centre, CBI, CVC, Asthana, Verma and Rao asking them to respond to it by November 12.
Asthana has also moved the Supreme Court with a separate petition in the matter and has sought removal of Verma from the post of CBI Director. “We want to see preliminary probe report in 10 days to decide whether it requires further probe,” the bench had said.
‘This Lok Sabha election was like pilgrimage for me,’ says Modi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told his ministerial colleagues that this Lok Sabha election was like a pilgrimage for him.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: “PM Modi said that he has seen many elections but this election’s campaign did not seem like a campaign. He said it was like a pilgrimage for him.”
“Terming the completion of the NDA government’s tenure as a successful experiment, PM Modi said the alliance should be further strengthened,” Tomar said.
PM Modi on Tuesday had a meeting with the members of his Council of Ministers and congratulated them for successfully working as a team for the last five years.
The 2-hour long meeting was attended by all the ministers, who on their part congratulated PM Modi for the development works that the government did in the last five years under his leadership.
Fully confident to return to power, Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur said: “We are 110 per cent forming the next government. The opposition is staring at their defeat.”
On the allegations about drawbacks in electronic voting machines (EVMs), Kaur said: “When they won the Assembly polls in three states, EVMs were good for them but when the exit polls have shown their defeat, they have started blaming EVMs.”
Seeking apologies for their baseless allegations against PM Modi, Giriraj Singh said: “Opposition parties should apologise to the public for their baseless allegations. They have won elections when it was conducted by EVMs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Delhi.”
Predicting more than 300 seats for BJP and 350 plus for the NDA, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said: “Scared of defeat, the opposition parties indulged in violence and bloodshed. They are not able to digest the defeat.”
Union Minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan also thanked PM Modi for running a strong government at the Centre for five years.
EC wants to set new precedent of ‘dark secrets’, ‘secluded chambers’: Cong
New Delhi: A day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday termed as “constitutional travesty” the EC’s rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of “dark secrets” and “secluded chambers” in performing its duties.
“A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of ‘dark secrets’ & ‘secluded chambers’ in doing its constitutional duties. If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?,” Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.
His comments came a day after the Election Commission (EC) decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.
On Tuesday, the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.
The “full commission” of the panel, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two other members — Lavasa and Sushil Chandra — deliberated on the contentious issue, after which the EC said dissent notes and minority views would remain part of the records but would not be part of its orders. Lavasa had dissented on a series of clean chits given by the EC to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on their speeches during the election campaign.
As his demand for recording his dissent notes in EC’s orders was not met, Lavasa recused himself from cases relating to violations of the Model Code of Conduct. The counting of votes for the just-concluded, seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on Thursday.
Pawar plays matchmaker, looks for new partners for a non-BJP front
Mumbai: The Opposition’s leading players are reaching out to other political leaders who can swing numbers in case the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) falls short of majority. The exit polls, however, predicted otherwise.
Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar has played a role of matchmaker between various parties for a non-BJP front.
Pawar has reached out to YSR Congress’s Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader K Chandrasekhar Rao and Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, reported NDTV.
According to Hindustan Times report, the functionary said KCR confirmed to Pawar that his party would be open to supporting the United Progressive Alliance in the event of a hung Parliament.
He had reportedly made calls for support in case Opposition gets a chance to form the government. He has been in touch with Chandrababu Naidu who has been touring across nation for discussion with leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP’s Mayawati, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.
On Tuesday, Chandrababu Naidu met Karnataka Chief Minsiter HD Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda of JD(S), which is in alliance with Congress.
Jagan Reddy is yet to return calls from the opposition. Reddy is also being pursued by the NDA.
Last year, Naidu broke the alliance with NDA over the delay of granting special status to Andhra Pradesh.
Exit polls on Sunday predicted over 300 of Lok Sabha’s 543 seats for the NDA, well past the majority mark of 272. The Congress and its allies were given 122 and non-aligned parties, 114.