In three days of his tenure as the interim chief of the CBI, Nageswara Rao ordered a number of transfers — all of which are now under the scanner of the Supreme Court. The top court Friday divested Rao of powers to take policy decisions while in position and ruled he will only manage the day-to-day functioning of the agency. It also said all the decisions taken by Rao since his appointment on October 23 will be submitted to the court on November 12 in a sealed cover.
Rao, (1986-batch IPS, Orissa), who joined the CBI in 2016, was a joint director with the agency before his elevation.
Here are the decisions taken by Rao as interim chief:
# Hours after his appointment, Rao ordered sealing of the top floor offices of warring CBI officers — Director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana – at 1.30 am Tuesday. Rao, escorted by a Delhi police convoy, sealed the 11th floor office and settled on the 10th floor.
#The agency – now headed by Rao – transferred 14 officers on Wednesday, most of whom were working with Verma, in a probe against Asthana on charges of bribery.
*Key to the reshuffle is the marginalisation of Joint Director (Policy) A K Sharma who was working closely with Verma. The Joint Director (Policy) is an important post in the CBI — at least two of his predecessors have gone on to become CBI Director. Verma had entrusted it with key cases taking them away from Asthana’s team.
*Anish Prasad’s is another key transfer. Prasad was the DIG of SU-1 (Surveillance) unit. The SU unit is CBI’s intelligence wing. In July, Prasad was at the centre of a tussle between Asthana and Verma. In his letter to CVC on the investigation into his daughter’s wedding, Asthana had claimed that the CBI was intruding into his personal space and was snooping on conversations of his family members.
*CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police A K Bassi, who was investigating charges against Rakesh Asthana, ordered to be transferred to Port Blair.
*Additional SP S S Gurn of AC III, regarded close to Sharma, ordered to be transferred to Jabalpur.
*M K Sinha, DIG of AC III and Banking and Securities Fraud Cell (BSFC), which functioned under A K Sharma and was probing key cases of bank loan frauds such as the PNB scam, ordered sent away from headquarters to the Nagpur office.
In contrast, those officers associated with Asthana have been transferred with relatively more significant assignments.
*From Asthana’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), a key reassignment is of Joint Director A Sai Manohar. He has been made joint director of Chandigarh Zone, but the transfer orders say he will continue to remain in CBI headquarters in Delhi and hold additional charge of SIT and TFC (Technical Forensics and Coordination) Zone “in public interest”.
*DIG (Special Crime) Jasbir Singh, who has worked under interim Director Nageshwar Rao, has been given additional charge of BSFC, earlier under Sharma.