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CBI vs CBI HIGHLIGHTS: Decision to send me on leave ‘patently illegal’, claims Alok Verma; CBI assures fair inquiry against Asthana

CBI bribery case HIGHLIGHTS: In a dramatic turn of events in CBI v's CBI war, the agency's director Alok Verma, his deputy Rakesh Asthana and several other officers were sent on leave by the government. Follow this space to track latest news

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 25, 2018 11:16:08 am
CBI vs CBI LIVE updates: CBI vs CBI Highlights: Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana have been stripped of their powers

Under fire from the Opposition for divesting CBI chief Alok Verma of his powers, the government in its defence said that the midnight order was necessary to maintain the “institutional integrity and credibility of India’s investigation agency.” Calling the infighting in CBI as “extraordinary,” Arun Jaitley in a press conference said the government’s order was based on the recommendations of the CVC. “The two officers cannot probe the matter against each other. In interest of fair probe and as an interim measure, both will sit out and a SIT not functioning under them will investigate the matter,” he said.

He also rejected Opposition’s criticism as “rubbish.” “The government is committed to ensure that “India’s investigation agency doesn’t become a mockery as few of the officers have made it in the last few days. If the officers are innocent, they will come back,” he said. Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present at the press brief.

Alok Verma who was “sent on leave” by the government,  approached the Supreme Court, challenging the order. The matter will now be heard Friday.

M Nageshwar Rao, joint director, took charge of the agency and ordered a slew of transfers, including of those officers who were probing the alleged bribery charges against Rakesh Asthana. According to media reports, raids were also conducted at the CBI Headquarters in New Delhi this morning.

Read | All your questions answered

Live Blog

In a new development in the ongoing CBI v/s CBI war, chief Alok Verma, deputy Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave. Follow HIGHLIGHTS

20:47 (IST)24 Oct 2018
CVC Commissioner took bribe when in MoF, says Subramanian Swamy
20:28 (IST)24 Oct 2018
UT govt can't order registration of FIR against Central govt functionaries: Centre to SC

The Centre on Wednesday explained before the Supreme Court its decisions to issue a notification stating that Delhi police will investigate the city government staff.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan examining various notifications of the AAP-led Delhi government and the Centre on administrative issues was apprised that the Union government was within its rights under the Constitution to distinguish between the investigating powers of Delhi Police and the CBI.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the Centre, stated that the Union Territory government cannot order registration of FIR against functionaries of the Central government.

19:49 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Delhi CM gives reason for transfer of Alok Verma at 3 am
19:18 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Yashwant Sinha among others move SC in Rafale deal issue

Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking registration of an FIR into the Rafale deal. They have sought a direction for CBI to investigate the offences disclosed in their PIL in a 'time-bound' manner and submit periodic status reports to the top court. Read more here

The PIL was filed earlier this month, October 4 with the CBI after their meeting with CBI Director Alok Verma, as reported by PTI.

18:18 (IST)24 Oct 2018
I am under oath of secrecy: CVC Commissioner
18:00 (IST)24 Oct 2018
You can run but you can't hide from Rafale: Rahul Gandhi to PM Modi
17:46 (IST)24 Oct 2018
SC had granted CBI chief two-year tenure: Sitaram Yechury

In a series of tweets, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury today claimed that the government panicked by the feud in CBI and removed the agency's chief to protect its "handpicked" officer. "The illegal removal of CBI chief by Modi government to protect their own handpicked officer, against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated, points to attempts at a serious cover-up to protect his direct links to the BJP's top political leadership", Yechury wrote on Twitter.

17:27 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Independent inquiry into matter before further erosions, states DoPT

The Department of Personnel and Training states, that the matter which has given rise to 'extraordinary' and 'unprecedented' situation should be independently inquired before further ersosions are made to the credibility of the institution.

17:08 (IST)24 Oct 2018
CBI is working normal, sealing of its offices is untrue, says CBI spokesperson

CBI spokesperson refuses to comment on statements by government and Central Vigilance Commission on Director Alok Verma's 'non-cooperation' today and said that the team probing the bribery case against Asthana are oficers with proven credentials and efforts are being made to have expeditious, impartial and fair inquiry. "The image of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will not be tarnished as CBI is for country not for individuals, whatever investigation required is being done," says the spokesperson.

16:51 (IST)24 Oct 2018
After Asthana's appointment, crucial decision to the progress of investigations were stymied: Alok Verma's plea in SC

CBI Director Alok Verma in his plea before the Supreme Court challenging his removal, has alleged that after the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Special Director of CBI, decisions that were crucial to the progress of certain investigations were stymied by Asthana alone. Terming his removal as "patently illegal" Verma has further stated that a CBI Director has a fixed three year tenure and the decision to divest him also bypasses mandate of committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposisiotn and the Chief Justice of India, whose consent was needed for his transfer.

16:36 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Players in CBI massacre are about to suspend ED’s Rajeshwar, says BJP member Subramanian Swamy
16:26 (IST)24 Oct 2018
CBI has now become so-called BBI: Mamata Banerjee
16:16 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Arvind Kejriwal questions a co-relation between Rafale deal and Alok Verma's removal
16:09 (IST)24 Oct 2018
For fairness sake, share Rakesh Asthana letter with us: CBI writes to CVC

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) yesterday found itself at the centre of the row in the CBI between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, after it declined to share details of Asthana’s complaint with the investigation agency, as per Indian Express.

Reporting first on the issue, Indian Express learnt that questions were raised by CBI in an official letter to the CVC earlier this month as the CVC “declined to share the complaint or details” of the complaint made by Asthana “against CBI officers investigating his cases”. This letter came in response to letters by CVC seeking files from CBI on a complaint filed by Asthana against Verma and some other officers of the agency. 

Read More| CBI writes to CVC

15:59 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Why is PM protecting a corrupt officer: President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Asaduddin Owaisi
15:41 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Ongoing disturbance at CBI is a matter of concern for nation: BSP chief Mayawati

"More than the officials, it is the central government which is responsible for the problems in the CBI," Mayawati said in a statement, PTI reported. Mayawati termed cases including Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Rafale deal as blots on the BJP-led government's rule which have not been probed properly. Further, she said that misuse of official machinery to target anti-BJP parties and institutions ahs been happening for the past four-and-a-half years and due to this reason people are losing faith in government institutions. Much wrong has been done to the premier investigating agency by interferences of different kinds in the past too, Mayawati said. "Besides the internal working, the Supreme Court will also get an opportunity to seriously look into the role of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) which has become essential in the present context," she said. "It is important for restoring the faith of the people in the CBI that the Supreme Court takes effective cognizance of the present situation," she said.

15:34 (IST)24 Oct 2018
Watch: CBI investigating officer AK Bassi refusing to answer questions

Deputy SP CBI AK Bassi, probing the case against CBI’s Rakesh Asthana, has been transferred and posted as Deputy SP CBI, ACB Port Blair.

15:25 (IST)24 Oct 2018
This shows an undeclared emergency imposed in our country, says MK Stalin

Speaking over the appointment of Nageswar Rao as an interim chief of the agency, DMK president MK Stalin says, several complaints were sent to CBI director against Rao and there are reports that the CBI director Alok Verma wanted to initiate investigations into allegations against him.

15:14 (IST)24 Oct 2018
The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI: Ministry of I&B

'Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Ashtana divested of their roles as Director and Special Director of CBI respectively. M. Nageshwar Rao to look after the duties and functions of Director CBI,' Ministry of Home Affairs issues a statement. Speaking on the 'official eco-system' of the organisation, the statement further reads, 'The grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another, which has been widely reported in media, has vitiated the official eco-system of the organization. The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI leading to a potential loss of credibility and reputation of the Agency. It also vitiated the working environment of the organization which has deep and visible impact on the overall governance.' 'The CVC has also observed that the Director, CBI has been non-cooperative with the Commission, non-compliant with the requirements/directions of the Commission and has created willful obstructions in the functioning of the Commission which is a Constitutional body. In view of the above background, the ACC has approved that during the period of such interim measure, Shri M. Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI shall look after the duties and functions of Director, CBI with immediate effect.' Read more here

14:54 (IST)24 Oct 2018
It is really sad that chiefs of topmost investigative agency are accusing each other: Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant

Alok Verma joined the IPS in 1979 at age 22 and was allotted to the AGMUT (Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram, UTs) cadre. He was the youngest officer in his batch. Prior to assuming the office of CBI Director, Verma had been Commissioner of Police, Delhi; Director General of Prisons, Delhi; Director General of Police, Mizoram; DGP, Puducherry and IGP, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He was also the only one to hold the top post at CBI without any prior experience in the agency. He was appointed as CBI Director for two years and his tenure ends in December.

Read: Alok Verma removed as CBI Director, he challenges it in SC

Explained: What is the CBI vs CBI war?

Both Asthana and Verma have been at loggerheads after the latter accused Asthana of bribery. Asthana is alleged to have demanded a bribe of Rs 5 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman through two middlemen to help him get off the hook in the Moin Qureshi case. CBI has alleged that at least Rs 3 crore had already been paid to Asthana through the middlemen.

Refuting the charges, Asthana accused Verma of interfering in his probes and trying to stall a raid on Lalu Prasad in the IRCTC case. He also alleged corruption on Verma’s part.

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