The Supreme Court on Friday resumed its hearing in what’s now being termed as the CBI vs CBI case involving the dismissal of Alok Verma as the federal probe agency’s director. This was the first hearing of the apex court since the CVC submitted the finding of its probe into allegations of corruption against Verma.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra directed the CVC to hand over the copies of its report to Verma for him to be able to submit his response before the court convenes again on Tuesday next week.
However, the highlight of Friday’s hearing was a series of light-hearted comments made by CJI Gogoi that added the much-needed pleasant atmosphere into an otherwise tense courtroom.
For example, when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the bench for a copy of the CVC report, CJI Gogoi asked, “who are you?’ He replied, “I represent the CVC.” To which, CJI Gogoi, according to CNN-News18 reporter, replied, “So you’re the author of the report and you don’t have it.”
In another exchange, the lawyer representing AK Bassi, the CBI officer investigating Rakesh Asthana, argued against his client’s transfer, CJI Gogoi asked, “Where have you been transferred to?” Bassi’s counsel replied, “Port Blair.” CJI replied, ” It is a good place..be there for a few days.”
Even the Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge came for CJI Gogoi’s jibe. Kharge, who had filed a petition on Alok Verma case, was asked by CJI Gogoi, “Who are you? Kapil Sibal replied, “Mr. Kharge.” CJI replied jokingly, “Oh! the Leader of Opposition or the single largest party… we had forgot about you.”
Kapil Sibal for Mallikarjun Kharge, who had filed a petition in the #AlokVerma removal case, says the court should hear him
CJI: Who are you?
Sibal: Mr. Kharge
CJI: Oh! the Leader of Opposition or the single largest party… we had forgot about you#CBI
— Krishnadas Rajagopal (@kdrajagopal) November 16, 2018
This is not the first time, CJi Gogoi has used light-hearted remarks to lighten the atmosphere during a serious court proceeding. Earlier this week, during the hearing on the Rafale deal, he had made several light-hearted interventions. On one occasion, addressing the Air Marshal rank officers of the Indian Air Force, CJI Gogoi had said, “The Air Marshal and Vice-Marshals can go back. It is a different war game here in court. You can go to the actual war rooms.”
CJI Gogoi succeeded Diapk Misra on 3 October this year. He was one of the four judges of the Supreme Cout, who had held an extraordinary press conference raising questions on the functioning of the apex court under the then CJI Misra.