New Delhi, Dec 4: The government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that fight between CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana had created an unprecedented and extraordinary situation. The hearing will continue in SC from 10:30 am on Thursday.Resuming his submissions, attorney general KK Venugopal told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the fight between the two officers impacted the image of the CBI."Top officers, Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana, were fighting against each other and went public which exposed CBI to ridicule," the AG told the bench also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph."Government of India was watching with amazement as to what these two officers were doing, they were fighting like cats," the AG said.The dispute was pulling down integrity and respect of the premier institution, he said, adding, "The Centre's main aim was to see that confidence of the public in this premier institution (CBI) is restored."Justifying the government's intervention, AG told the court it was absolutely essential for Centre to step in and act in the tussle between the two officers.The apex court on November 29 had said it would first consider whether the government has the power to divest the CBI director of his duties under whatever circumstances or whether the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister should have been approached before moving against Verma on corruption allegations against him.The court had taken this stand after making it clear that for now it was not going into the allegations and counter-allegations involving Verma and CBI's No.2 officer Asthana, both of whom have been stripped of their powers and sent on leave following their bitter feud.Verma's two-year tenure ends on January 31. He has challenged the Centre's decision.
News24 Bureau/ PTI