An angry Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday abruptly adjourned a hearing into the CBI Vs CBI case expressing his disgust on how Alok Verma’s response to the CVC report was leaked to a news website.
As soon as the hearing resumed on Tuesday, CJI Gogoi handed over a set of copies to Verma’s lawyer Fali S. Nariman and said angrily, “You being a senior member, we have given this to you. As a respected, senior member of the institution, what do you say? please help us. If you would like some time to respond, we can take up the other matters first…” The papers handed over to Nariman were the copies of a report published on The Wire website.
“We are unable to help you due to the inefficiency of the counsel. We want to know what is going on? This is not a platform for people to come and express what they want. We will set it right. We expressed that highest degree of confidentiality should be maintained and this litigant takes the papers and shares it with everyone. Our respect for this institution is not shared by anyone for some strange reason,” CJI Gogoi was quoted by Bar and Bench website.
Nariman too appeared angry over the leak but said that he was unaware how they had been leaked.
The Chief Justice announced, “For reasons that need not be recorded, we don’t want a hearing.” Nariman, for his part said that he too was very ‘disturbed’ by the leak. “It is very important for free press to also be responsible….this is my reading….what are we to do with all these people moving around, wanting to know this and that…,” he was quoted by the LiveLaw website.
The Wire website clarified that its report was based on Verma’s response to questions asked by the CVC and not his submission to the Supreme Court. Its editor, Siddharth Vardarajan, tweeted, “This is to clarify that
@thewire_in stories were on Alok Verma’s responses to questions the CVC put to him. These were not in a sealed cover and were not meant for the SC. As for his response to CVC’s final report, handed over to SC in sealed cover, we haven’t seen/reported that.”
This is to clarify that @thewire_in stories were on Alok Verma’s responses to questions the CVC put to him. These were not in a sealed cover and were not meant for the SC. As for his response to CVC’s final report, handed over to SC in sealed cover, we haven’t seen/reported that. https://t.co/iFudREfRtj
— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) November 20, 2018
The top court adjourned the matter till 29 November. The top court is hearing a petition filed by Alok Verma against his unceremonious removal from as the CBI Director by the central government after he initiated action against his deputy Rakesh Asthana for corruption.