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Interim CBI chief's orders including mass transfers on hold

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Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana

Though the court granted two weeks time to the CVC to complete the inquiry, it turned down the request for probe without any monitoring. It is bypassing this Committee that the impugned orders have been passed by the CVC and the Central Government. Decisions taken by him since October 23 till date shall not be implemented, it said.

However, before the issue of stay on government's order could be raised in the court, the bench told Attorney General K K Venugopal that it would examine the issues.

The court said the inquiry will be conducted under the supervision of a former Supreme Court judge.

He also states that he had reservations against the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as CBI Special Director in view of the cases pending against him. The CVC, however, submitted that 10 days were not sufficient as it has to look into several documents. "The opposition parties will not allow the "chowkidar" to commit the theft", Gandhi said amidst frenzied slogan shouting by party supporters.

Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India´s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and president of the Congress party, was briefly taken to a Delhi police station after leading a march by hundreds of supporters to the CBI headquarters. Asthana is said to have withstood enormous political pressures during the fodder scam probe. It came amid a tussle between Verma and the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

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In a dramatic turn of event, the Delhi Police on Friday withdrew at least two of its PSOs, who had nabbed IB operatives near CBI chief Alok Verma's house, and sent them to unknown location.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has said that India is seeing "turbulent times", which can be traced directly to the "whimsical and bizarre" decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He cited the Vineet Narain judgment to support Verma's pleas.

Verma has sought a stay of the Centre's order asking him to proceed on leave and giving the interim charge of his post to Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer.

Nearly a year before that, another bench of the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the CBI while hearing a coal scam case and had said the probe agency had become a "caged parrot" speaking in the voice of its political masters.

Two, it ruled that Nageshwar Rao appointed by the government in place of Alok Verma", -in what the government now claims is an "interim measure"-cannot take any policy decisions and can at best oversee the functioning of the agency".

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