WITH DEPOSED CBI Director Alok Verma refusing to join as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards on Thursday, sources in the Home Ministry said he was likely to face departmental action.
As reported by The Indian Express, the Home Ministry, in a letter sent to Verma on Wednesday — a day before the date of his superannuation as Director — had directed him to join his new office “immediately”. This meant that Verma would have to join for a day.
Officials said Verma had violated service rules by not complying with the ministry’s directive. Disciplinary proceedings against Verma could mean suspension of pensionary benefits, said officials.
The development comes a day before the selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet to appoint a new CBI Director.
According to sources, as many as 10 officers with prior experience in the CBI and empanelled for central deputation, are in contention. Sources, however, said that even officers with no experience in the agency but adequate vigilance experience in state agencies could be considered.
In its letter sent to Verma on Wednesday, the MHA had said, “You are directed to join the post of DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards immediately.”
Verma, in his response, had reiterated his position that he stands superannuated from the post of CBI Director from January 10 evening, when he was moved out of the post by the selection committee chaired by Modi.
Verma also said his date of birth, according to official records, is July 14, 1957, which implies that the date of superannuation was July 31, 2017. “The undersigned has already crossed the age of 61 years and continued to serve even after his superannuation date as Director, CBI which is a tenure post for a period of two years,” he wrote.
Verma was first moved out of CBI by the government last October, on the recommendation of CVC, but was reinstated by the Supreme Court in January. After the Supreme Court order, the selection committee, with a majority of 2-1, asked him to join the residual term of CBI Director as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards.
While this move was opposed by leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Modi was supported by Justice A K Sikri, nominee of CJI.