Last Updated : Jan 10, 2019 09:12 PM IST | Source:

PM Narendra Modi-led selection panel sacks Alok Verma as CBI chief

The Supreme Court had on January 8 overturned the Centre's decision to divest Verma of his duties

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A high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has removed Alok Verma as the chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A report by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had accused Verma of corruption.

The other members of the committee were Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, who was nominated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to represent him.

Verma was ousted by a 2:1 majority. PM Modi voted against Verma, while Kharge wanted the ousted CBI boss to continue. Having the deciding vote, Justice Sikri found the CBI chief's continuance "detrimental to institutional integrity".

Verma has now been appointed as the Director General of Fire Services.

Nageshwar Rao has been appointed as the interim director of CBI till the appointment of a new director or until further orders.

The CVC report spoke about the controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi's case and claimed that CBI team looking into the case wanted to make Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana an accused in the case but Verma never gave clearance.

The CVC report also contained intercepts from the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the external snooping agency, in which "money changing hands with number one in the CBI" is talked about, the officials said.

The CVC, which has a supervisory role over the CBI, had also alleged that Verma tried to save an officer in the IRCTC case involving former Union Minister Lalu Prasad.

The commission also alleged that Verma was trying to bring in tainted officials into the CBI. It claimed that efforts seeking cooperation from the CBI chief did not yield results as he continued to keep the files away from the CVC

Reacting to the development,  senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily called the decision "revengeful".

Expressing surprise at the development, Congress, in a briefing, questioned the CVC's functioning.

"SC did not find anything in CVC report to not reinstate Verma, if that would have been the case, SC would have acted. The question mark is now on CVC and its functioning and whether it can be unbiased in its duty, or is it acting on the directions of the PMO?" Congress' Anand Sharma said.

Verma was reinstated as the CBI boss after a Supreme Court order on January 8. The SC had overturned the Centre's decision to divest Verma of his duties.

The order was delivered by a bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.

The CBI chief and his deputy Special Director, Rakesh Asthana, were sent on forced leave over two months ago to stop the "kilkenny cat fight" between them. They had accused each other of corruption.

Verma, who resumed office on January 9, had revoked most of the transfers done by M Nageshwar Rao, appointed as the interim CBI chief in his absence.

With PTI inputs. 
First Published on Jan 10, 2019 07:32 pm
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