Besides PM Modi, the panel of three included the Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge and Supreme Court judge, Justice AK Sikri – nominated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi who dropped out since he was on the bench that reinstated Mr Verma.
As the panel based its decision on a report of the Central Vigilance Commission on allegations against Mr Verma, Mr Kharge put up a dissent note that flagged how the main allegations were unsubstantiated.
The note included a summary of the vigilance report, which reveals that the main allegation of bribery – raised by Mr Verma’s deputy Rakesh Asthana – is not substantiated. “No evidence of payment of bribe; further investigation required for verifying circumstantial evidence,” said the report on the charge that Mr Verma took Rs. 2 crore from a businessman being investigated by the CBI.
On allegations of “not taking action on certain intelligence inputs” the report said: “Allegation not substantiated”. On the charge of “illegal gratification in ongoing preliminary enquiry against land acquisition in Haryana”, the findings were: “Allegation not substantiated, further inquiry will be required.”
Of the 10 allegations against Mr Verma, three were substantiated, while in six cases they weren’t. Even the ones that were shown to be substantiated vary in their levels of credibility, according to the vigilance report.