New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Centre on agency Director Alok Kumar Verma’s plea challenging the government’s decision to divest him of his duties and send him on leave.
The apex court directed that interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao shall not take any major policy decisions. Decisions taken by him since October 23 till date shall not be implemented, it said.
All decisions taken by Rao shall be placed before the apex court in a sealed cover.
The top court said former Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik will oversee a CVC inquiry into the allegations and counter allegations and the report has to be placed before it within two weeks.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi posted the next date of hearing on November 12.
The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, issued notices on the petition filed by an NGO, Common Cause, which has sought a Special Investigation Team probe against the CBI officers.
CBI’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana has also been named as one of the respondents in the NGO’s petition.
Verma and Asthana have made allegations of corruption against each other.
During the brief hearing Friday, senior advocate F S Nariman advanced arguments on behalf of the CBI chief.
He submitted that the CBI director was appointed with the approval of a selection panel having the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
Nariman referred to the CVC and Centre’s orders divesting Verma of his duty. He also cited the Vineet Narain judgment to support Verma’s pleas.
In the beginning, the apex court said the CVC inquiry on allegations and counter-allegations should be completed in 10 days under the supervision of this court.
CVC submitted that 10 days for inquiry was not sufficient as it has to look into several documents. It said for the time being, no monitoring by anyone else should be allowed.
The bench granted the CVC two weeks to conclude its probe.
Verma has also sought a stay of the Centre’s order asking him to proceed on leave and giving the interim charge of his post to Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre Indian Police Service officer.
‘Mahagathbandhan’ club of ‘nawabs of negativity’: Jaitley
Mumbai: The opposition “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) is a club of “nawabs of negativity” and the only glue of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
People of an aspirational society which is politically conscious will not buy into this “suicidal” alternative, the senior BJP leader said.
“The nawabs of negativity may come together but that is not something that will carry credibility as far as people are concerned,” Jaitley said, speaking via video link at the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leadership Awards event. During the video call, Jaitley also spoke about the Union Budget.
This was the first time Jaitley, now in the US for medical treatment, addressed a gathering since leaving the country on Tuesday.
The setback the ruling BJP suffered in Assembly elections in three heartland states recently (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) has enthused some opposition leaders about the likely electoral success of such an alternative.
The “mahagathbandhan” has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common programme aimed at building the country or an individual leader, Jaitley said.
As against the BJP’s strengths of leadership, decisiveness, performance and potential, the point being put forward by the opposition is of arithmetic, Jaitley highlighted.
In politics, it is not the arithmetic but chemistry which succeeds, he added.
“The premise is that we have politics which is negative in character and the negative politics is we want one man (Narendra Modi) out. On that negativity of wanting one man out, they (Opposition) have come together,” Jaitley said.
Arun Jaitley also said there is a need to elevate the political debate in the run up to the elections and stressed that we cannot afford a “sloganised political debate” where emotional cries take over sound policy.
Without mentioning the promise of farm loan waivers, which the opposition Congress is pitching for, the minister said “sloganised policies” never help the larger interest of the economy and it is the country’s aspirations which will receive a setback in the process.
Govt compromising national security, why 36 Rafale jets instead of 126: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday accused the government of compromising national security and asked why it bought only 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 126 required by the Air Force.
His comments come in the wake of fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in a media report which claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to but 36 aircraft instead of the 126 asked for by the Air Force pushed the price of each jet up by 41.42 per cent.
“In the light of new facts and revelations in THE HINDU, the question gains greater urgency: why did the government buy only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 126 aircraft required by the Air Force?,” Chidambaram asked in a tweet.
“The Government has compromised national security by denying to the Air Force the 7 squadrons (126 aircraft) that it desperately needs,” he said.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also took to Twitter to demand answers from Modi on the increased cost of aircraft. “The PM’s unilateral decision to buy 36 Rafales resulted in a price escalation of 41.42 per cent per jet. When will the prime minister answer? he asked.
No war, but soldiers are dying on borders: Bhagwat
Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said requisite steps need to combat killings on the border, as soldiers are being martyred sans a war-like situation in the country.
“In our country, there is no war at the moment, still people (soldiers) are getting martyred…Because we are not doing our jobs properly. We need to make efforts in this regard. If we want our country to reach the top, then we all should learn to sacrifice,” he said at a gathering here on Thursday.
Furthermore, Bhagwat said the responsibility of safeguarding the country should not be solely shouldered by the Forces.
“Everybody has to make efforts in this regard. This is not something for which we can give a contract to somebody. We keep thinking that the government will do it or the army will do it, the police will do it, but it’s not like that, the entire society has to make efforts,” he opined.
Citing the example of Israel, Bhagwat noted: “If one looks closely, after 70 long years, those countries in comparison with India have done better in terms of growth and development. Israel is a classic example. The natives were weed out before the 19 c. But citizens there gradually came back to their country and started their businesses, trade etc. Finally, in 1948 they got independence.”