Patnaik, as chief justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, was also a member of "In-House committee" of the apex court that probed allegations against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court.
While Gandhi led hundreds of Congress workers and leaders on their protest march here, he was also joined by leaders from some other opposition parties as well, including from the CPI, Trinamool Congress and Loktantrik Janata Dal.
"We make it clear that entrustment of supervision of on-going inquiry by the CVC to a former judge of this court is a one-time exception that has been felt necessary by this court in the peculiar facts of this case and should not be understood to be casting any reflection on any authority of the government of India", the order stated.
The Congress has alleged Rafale link in the government decision to divest CBI Director Verma of his duties, but the government has rejected these allegations. Rohatgi said that Asthana's plea could be listed for hearing on October 29.
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. He submitted that the sidelined CBI director was appointed with the approval of a selection panel having the prime minister, the leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India. Asthana, incidentally, has been reported by the media as close to PM Modi, a Gujarat cadre officer who was brought into the CBI and tipped to succeed Alok Verma after his retirement end year.
On the whole, while both sides may have bones to pick with the order, the Centre is likely to be more aggrieved, since Verma's chief grievance - the orders of the CVC and Centre - could still be easily addressed subsequently by the court.
- Fali S Nariman cites Vineet Narain judgment and the 2-year statutory protection.
The bench said that at this stage, the CVC has to see whether there was any prima facie ground to proceed in the matter and for this, it does not have to go through thousands of pages of documents for this.
"This was necessary in the larger interest of fairness because you can't be heading an agency which is investigating into your own conduct", he said.