The Supreme Court on Tuesday took serious offence about the sealed cover response of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma’s vigilance report on corruption allegation getting leaked to a news portal and adjourned the matter to November 29. The court asked senior advocate Fali Nariman appearing for Verma to explain how this happened. The response was filed by Verma and submitted to the secretary general in a sealed cover on Monday.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph handed over Nariman the copy of a report by a news portal, which has published the CBI director’s response.
Nariman after going through the media report told the bench that he was “shattered” and “shocked” on Verma’s reply being leaked in the media.
“None of you deserves a hearing,” Chief Justice Gogoi said, deferring the case. Alok Verma has petitioned the top court against the government’s decision to strip him of his powers and send him on compulsory leave.
Nariman said that the press must act responsibly and that he and his client were astonished to read in today’s papers that time was sought by Verma. He revealed the request for additional time to file the response was without his consent. He said the response was ready as he worked the whole night to file it.
The senior lawyer said the news portal and its journalists concerned be summoned as the press should be free and responsible. The court was hearing Verma’s plea against govt’s decision to divest him of duties and sending him on leave.