A two-judge comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 1, 2019, issued notice to the CBI seeking its reply within six weeks on a plea filed by DSP Ajay Kumar Bassi challenging his transfer to Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
A K Bassi, the former Investigation Officer (IO) in the FIR against the then special director CBI Rakesh Asthana, had filed the petition through advocate Sunil Fernandes. Bassi had challenged the transfer order dated January 11, 2019, issued with the approval of the interim director CBI Nagaswara Rao that had effectively nullified the order passed by the then CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma cancelling the transfer of DSP A K Bassi to Port Blair.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan- If this court is concerned with governance under Article 32, then this a fit case to be entertained.
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) February 1, 2019
Petitioner A K Bassi in his petition had also contended that the order issued by Nageswara Rao transferring him to Port Blair is vitiated by malafides and non-application of mind. It is passed by an officer/authority not competent to pass such orders. The impugned order intends to victimise him. Further, it was alleged that his transfer to Port Blair sought to unfairly prejudice the investigation against Rakesh Asthana in connection with Moin Qureshi case. Bassi has also apprehended that his transfer from CBI headquarter is the first step to implicate him in false criminal cases/departmental proceedings for discharging his duties in a fair and impartial manner in the investigation of the FIR against Asthana.
Bassi had relied on the Supreme Court’s order dated January 8, 2019 in Alok Verma v. Union of India wherein apart from reinstating Alok Verma as CBI director, the Court had quashed the appointment of Rao as interim director and granted the liberty to Bassi to challenge his transfer order before appropriate forum.
In light of the said liberty, Bassi made a representation to the then Director-CBI Alok Verma on January 9, 2019, which was allowed and A K Bassi was transferred back to Delhi and assigned to his duties of DSP, CBI, AC-III, New Delhi. However, based on the High Powered Committee recommendation, then Director-CBI Alok Verma was transferred out from the CBI on January 11, 2019 and on the same day M. Nageswara Rao was assigned charge of the office of Director CBI, as an interim measure, who then issued instructions to pass the order transferring A K Bassi to Port Blair once again.