CBI Dispute

Alok Verma v Union of India; Common Cause v Union of India

The Supreme Court quashed orders issued by the Central Government divesting the CBI Director, Mr. Alok Verma, of his responsibilities.



Petitioner: Alok Verma; Common Cause

Lawyers: Fali Narman; Prashant Bhushan; Dushyant Dave; Gopal Sankaranarayanan

Respondent : Union of India

Lawyers: K.K. Venugopal

Intervenor: Mallikarjun Kharge; AK Bassi

Lawyers: Kapil Sibal; Rajeev Dhavan

Case Details

Case Number: WP (C) 1309/2018

Next Hearing:

Last Updated: December 24, 2021

Key Issues


Do the Central Vigilance Commission’s powers of supervision extend to investigating charges against CBI personnel, under the CVC Act, 2003?


Did the action taken against CBI Director Verma violate the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act?


Did the action against CBI Director violate the rule of fixed tenure, which was introduced by the SC guidelines in Vineet Narain case?

Case Description

On January 8th 2019, the CJI Gogoi authored the unanimous judgment reinstating Alok Verma as the CBI Director:

Two petitions, one filed by Alok Verma (CBI Director) and one by the NGO Common Cause challenged the Centre’s order which had divested Director Verma of his powers. The petitioners argued that the Central Government’s actions against Verma violated the provisions of the DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) Act and the Supreme Court guidelines issued in Vineet Narain, 1997.

The petitions also demanded the removal of CBI Special Director Mr. Rakesh Asthana, in light of the pending corruption charges against him.

Common Cause also requested a court monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe “into charges of corruption against the officials of the CBI”.

The Central government also appointed an Interim Director, M. Nageswara Rao. Verma and Asthana were both placed on immediate leave on October 23rd 2018, a first in the history of the CBI.