CBI chief Alok Verma removed

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Jan 2019 08:25:18


 

NEW DELHI,


Verma posted as Director General Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union Home Ministry


Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao gets charge as CBI chief

 

The eight counts of charges against Verma included alleged attempts to induct tainted officers, compromising probe in the Moin Qureshi case, IRCTC scam among others


ALOK Verma was on Thursday removed unceremoniously as the CBI Director after a high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi found that he had not been functioning with integrity expected of him. Verma, whose fixed tenure of two years was to end on January 31, is the first chief in the 55-years of the CBI’s history to face such action, officials said. He has been posted as Director General Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union Home Ministry.

The charge of the CBI has been given to Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao, a Government order issued on Thursday evening said. The panel which comprised Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as his nominee, had met here on Thursday evening after which a decision for Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, was taken. Kharge has expressed his dissent to the decision which was taken by a majority of 2:1. There were eight counts of charges against Verma in the CVC report presented before the panel which included alleged attempts to induct tainted officers, compromising probe in the case related to controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, IRCTC scam among others, they said. Central Vigilance Commission claimed that it had found evidence of influencing of probe in the Moin Qureshi case and there were intercepts of RAW, an external snooping agency, that Rs 2 crore had changed hands. The committee also took note of Verma’s attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity in the CBI. The CVC said that he had been given ample opportunity to present his case before the CVC, in presence of Justice (retd) Patnaik.


The officials said the panel, barring Kharge, felt that investigation, including criminal probe, was necessary, in some cases, and his continuation as CBI Director was not desirable, and he should be transferred.


The meeting of the committee was convened on Wednesday which lasted nearly 30 minutes. It was convened again on Thursday at the residence of Prime Minister Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg at around 4.30 PM. The meeting continued for nearly two hours with Kharge strongly arguing for giving a chance to Verma to present his case before the committee on the allegations levelled by the CVC against him.


“It is my considered opinion that the CBI Director should be allowed to explain himself before this committee along with the charges made against him prior to any decision being taken,” Kharge said. He also advocated restoration of Verma as CBI Director, so as to ensure the independence and neutrality of the CBI.  Kharge, however, agreed that charges against Verma in a case related to gold smuggling at the IGI Airport were partially substantiated and his attempts to induct tainted officers were found substantiated, too.


Kharge had also demanded an extension to Verma. However, the Prime Minister and Justice Sikri did not agree with his position making clear his ouster from the agency.
Verma had joined the office Wednesday after 77 days of forced leave set aside by the Supreme Court.