PM Modi-led selection panel removes Alok Verma as CBI Chief, sent to fire services

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NEW DELHI: A high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Verma as the CBI Chief on Thursday, who was reinstated by a Supreme Court order after he was sent on forced leave by the government.

 

The committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice A K Sikri deputising for the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

According to the report, the committee was of the view that being the head of a very sensitive organization, Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.

The Committee also felt that a detailed investigation was necessary in the case against him. Verma’s continuation as CBI Director was not desirable in this situation. So he should be transferred.

The panel led by the prime minister ordered to remove Verma from his position in a 2-1 decision.

PMModi and Justice Sikri opined to remove Verma from his position while Kharge protested the removal of Verma.

Meanwhile, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has posted the 1979 batch IPS officer Alok Verma as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence, and Home Guards.

In his place, 1986 batch IPS officer M Nageshwar Rao will take charge as CBI Director. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Alok Verma as CBI director and he resumed charges on Wednesday.

Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul announced the judgement on behalf of Ranjan Gogoi, the Chief Justice of India who was on leave that day.

The top court set aside the Central Vigilance Commission’s October 23rd order that forced Alok Verma on leave. However, he cannot take major policy decisions.

“This case would be sent to a statutory committee for further referral, pending which Alok Verma could not take major policy decisions as CBI director”, the apex court had said on Tuesday.

"The Government should have referred this case to the select committee comprising of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition if it wished to initiate the removal of the CBI director”, the court added.

Both CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave on October 25, 2018, after their feud had become public, as they had levelled allegations of corruption against each other.

Asthana accused the CBI director of accepting a bribe from a Hyderabad based businessman being investigated by the agency, simultaneously, Verma also accused Asthana of the same crime.

After sending Verma on leave, CBI’s joint Director M Nageswara Rao was given the charge of interim chief of the probe agency.

 

Image credit: Business Today

 

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