CBI director Alok Verma has been removed from his post after a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for over two hours on Thursday to decide his fate, making him the first chief in the history of the agency to face such action. Verma’s tenure as CBI chief was till January 31.
Additional director M Nageshwar Rao has been given interim charge of CBI chief till the appointment of a new director. Verma has been posted as Director General Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
The meeting was also attended by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, who was nominated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to represent him. Kharge was the only member who gave a dissent note on the decision to oust Verma.
According to PTI sources, Kharge said during the meeting that Verma should not be penalised and be given an extension of 77 days for which he was not allowed to attend the office.
PTI quoted officials as saying that Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, was removed on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. READ IN MALAYALAM
By removing #AlokVerma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC.
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 10, 2019
“By removing Alok Verma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC,” Congress tweeted.
The high-powered selection committee had also met on Wednesday night but no decision was reached. Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Kharge said he had sought documents, including the inquiry report by the Central Vigilance Commission into the matter.
“I have asked for certain documents from the government concerning the matter including the CVC’s enquiry reports,” PTI quoted Kharge as saying. He said that Verma should also be given an opportunity to appear before the committee and represent his case.
Verma was reinstated by a Supreme Court order after he was sent on forced leave by the government amid a bitter spat with Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
The court, however, directed Verma not to take any policy decisions till the statutory committee met decided further on the matter.
Hours after resuming charge, Verma on Wednesday reinstated “with immediate effect” key officers considered close to him who were moved out after he was sent on leave last October.