CJI-led bench to hear plea of exiled CBI chief today

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He had said that the government divesting him of his position was illegal as the CBI director enjoys a protected tenure of not less than two years as per section 4A of the Delhi Police Establishment Act.

Walking in the front, Rahul Gandhi led hundreds of people who shouted slogans and carried placards and posters that criticised the government.

The decisions, which included the mass transfer of CBI officers investigating corruption charges against Alok Verma's deputy Rakesh Asthana, will be scrutinised, the three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi indicated. The CVC has also said that for the time being, no monitoring by anyone else should be allowed.

The court's order came as another blow to the BJP government at the Centre. Removing the CBI director will not help.

The 1986 batch IPS officer Nageswar Rao, who had been entrusted to look after the director's role for the interim period, has been ordered not to take any major policy decisions and will only perform the routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functioning.

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The bench granted the CVC two weeks to conclude its probe.

But his petition was not heard on Friday and will be entertained in due course.

The Central Vigilance Commission investigation against CBI director Alok Verma will be conducted under the supervision of a retired top court judge, the Supreme Court said on Friday and set a two-week deadline for this probe to be completed.

Mr Gandhi has said the midnight removal of CBI chief Alok Verma was a "disgraceful and unconstitutional attempt" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to block an investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The Congress President also courted arrest during the protest. Not only that the Centre has also diluted the powers of Enforcement Directorate and RBI.

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Following the ugly public spat, the government chose to send both Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave.

"The prime minister acted against the CBI director as a result of panic and as a result of fear because he has helped Mr Ambani", Gandhi said as he left the police station.

The Supreme Court also issued notices on the petition filed by an NGO, Common Cause, which has sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe against CBI officers including off-duty Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

- Hearing commences in Supreme Court, Fali S Nariman arguing for Alok Verma.

Asthana was also divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday. Verma had also approved an FIR against Asthana for allegedly taking bribes of around Rs 3 crore and fabricating evidence to "impugn his reputation".

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