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.
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