A day after he was removed as CBI Director by the Prime Minister-led selection committee, Alok Verma refused to take charge as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and told the government that he “may be deemed as superannuated” with immediate effect. He was to complete his fixed two-year tenure on January 31.
A 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, Verma, in a letter to Chandramouli C, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, said the selection committee did not provide him an opportunity to explain details as recorded by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) before arriving at the decision to transfer him.
“Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director CBI. The selection committee did not consider the fact that the entire CVC report is premised on charges alluded by a complainant who is presently under investigation by the CBI,” Verma said, referring to his deputy, CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana who complained against him last year. Verma was divested of his charge on October 23 by the CVC and the government following which he approached the Supreme Court. On January 8, the Supreme Court set aside the October 23 order but made it clear that the issue of his divestment was “still open”. It asked Verma to confine himself to routine functions and not take any major policy decision till the selection committee took a call on his future. Two days later, the committee voted 2-1 to oust him.
In his letter, Verma said it may be noted that the CVC only forwarded a purportedly signed statement of the complainant (Asthana), and the complainant never came before Justice (retd) A K Patnaik who was supervising the enquiry. “Also, Justice Patnaik has concluded that the findings and conclusions of the report are not his,” he wrote.
The DoPT is yet to accept Verma’s resignation and said consultations are being held with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers. Sources said the government may take disciplinary action against Verma based on the CVC report and chargesheet him before he completes his tenure.
Verma asked the government to consider him superannuated since he had already completed his service tenure on July 31, 2017. “…it may be noted that the undersigned would have already superannuated as on July 31, 2017 and was only serving the Government as Director, CBI till January 31, 2019 as the same was a fixed tenure role. The undersigned is no longer Director, CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today,” he wrote.
He said “institutions are one of the strongest and most visible symbols of democracy and it is no exaggeration that the CBI is one of the most important organisations in India today. The decisions made yesterday will not just be a reflection on my functioning but will become a testimony on how the CBI as an institution will be treated by any government through the CVC, who is appointed by majority members of the ruling government. This is a moment for collective introspection to state the least”.
Verma had no prior experience of working in the CBI and was picked by the selection panel in 2017 based on his stint as Delhi Police Vigilance chief. “As a career bureaucrat, it is the idea of my integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service. I have served the Indian Police Service with an unblemished record and have headed police forces in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Mizoram, Delhi and also headed two organisations, Delhi Prisons and CBI,” he said.