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Reinstated CBI chief Alok Verma returns to work

Alok Verma, 61, was reinstated as CBI director by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Reinstated CBI chief Alok Verma returns to work

NEW DELHI: Reinstated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma on Wednesday arrived at the CBI headquarters to join office after 77 days of forced leave.

Verma, 61, is set to retire on January 31. Verma was reinstated as CBI director by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday. The SC, however, ruled that Verma cannot make policy decisions, but he can carry out routine works including transfers, the continuation of ongoing investigations and filing of FIRs in new cases.

It may be recalled that the government had sent Verma and CBI special director Rakesh Asthana on a long leave after they trade charges of corruption at each other. M Nageswara Rao was appointed as the interim CBI chief by the government. 

Welcoming the SC's verdict, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that it was 'balanced'. He, however, defended the government's decision to send Verma on leave, saying it was based on the CVC recommendation. 

"This action was taken perfectly bonafide as there were cross-allegations made by both the officers and in accordance with recommendations of CVC. The government had felt that in the larger interest of fair and impartial investigation and credibility of CBI, the two officers must recuse themselves," Jaitley said.

 "We deem it proper to direct that Verma, Director CBI, upon reinstatement, will cease and desist from taking any major policy decisions till the decision of the committee permitting such actions and decisions becomes available within the time frame indicated," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said while setting aside October 23 order of the CVC.