Alok Verma removed as CBI director by PM-led panel

Alok Verma. File Photo

New Delhi, January 10: The high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday shunted out CBI director Alok Verma. The decision was taken 2:1, as Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge opposed the move.

The decision came following the CVC report. Verma has been transferred as DG (fire services).

Naegswar Rao, who earlier remained interim chief of the agency, will again be given charge of CBI director.

Kharge has signed the minutes of the meeting, sources said without confirming if he had given dissenting note.

The meeting that lasted for over two hours was also attended by Justice A K Sikri, who was nominated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to represent him.

The CBI chief and his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on the forced leave over two months ago to stop the “kilkenny cat fight” between them. They had accused each other of corruption.

Verma, who resumed office on Wednesday, had revoked most of the transfers done by M Nageshwar Rao, who was appointed as the interim CBI chief in his absence.

Ahead of the meeting, Kharge said he has sought documents, including inquiry report by the Central Vigilance Commission into the matter.

“I have asked for certain documents from the government concerning the matter, including the CVC’s inquiry reports,” he told reporters here on Thursday.

He had said Verma should also be given an opportunity to appear before the committee and represent his case.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also attacked the government ahead of the crucial meeting and said Modi is in a “tearing hurry” to “sack” CBI chief Alok Verma because of the Rafale deal.

“1. Why is the PM in such a tearing hurry to sack the CBI Chief?

“2. Why will he not allow the CBI Chief to present his case in front of the selection committee ? Answer: RAFALE,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

The top court had asked the government to convene the meeting within a week of its order. It had quashed the government’s unprecedented “overnight” order issued in October last year, stripping Verma of his powers and sending him on leave after he and his deputy traded corruption charges, sparking a bitter feud. — With PTI inputs