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AK Bassi was transferred to Port Blair through orders issued by the Interim Director at a time when Alok Verma was ousted from his position in light of the CBI infighting.
The Supreme Court today allowed Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) AK Bassi to withdraw his petition challenging his transfer from Delhi to Port Blair.
Bassi was transferred to Port Blair in October 2018 after then Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma was divested of his powers by the Centre. The transfer order was passed by then Interim Director of the agency, M Nageshwar Rao.
Today, the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked Bassi why he had not joined service in Port Blair till now.
Senior Counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Bassi, told the Court that it had passed an order in 2019 stating that Bassi was to make a representation to see if the transfer order to Port Blair can be set aside. Bassi's transfer order, which was passed by the then Interim Director of the CBI, was under challenge before the Supreme Court.
CJI Bobde said that if the transfer order is illegal, it ought to be set aside. However, the challenge against that order cannot be the reason for not joining service.
Dhavan stressed that Bassi was given the liberty to make a representation before the concerned authorities, but the Court said that the same did not translate to protection from joining the services.
CJI SA Bobde said,
"We do not see any protection to you in our order. What has prevented you from joining services in such a long time?"
"A remedy was given to us by making representation. We were given option to sort it out with the CBI."
The Court then allowed Bassi to withdraw the petition and make a representation before the concerned authorities while keeping all contentions open.
In October of 2018, Bassi had challenged his transfer to Port Blair. This transfer, Bassi alleged in his IA, is vitiated by malafides, and constitutes interference in the fair and impartial investigation of cases he was handling.
During the brief period Alok Verma was reinstated as CBI Director pursuant to the Supreme Court judgment, Bassi had been transferred back to Delhi. However, Verma was removed consequent to the decision of the High Powered Committee on January 11, 2019. The very same day, M Nageshwar Rao was assigned the charge of Interim Director.
Rao then issued instruction to transfer Bassi back to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Bassi had challenged this, stating that the transfer to Delhi cannot be revoked by a generic order without stating any reasons.