New Delhi, Oct 24: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday announced that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe into the bribery case involving top officials of Central Bureau of Investigation.
Addressing the media, in his first reaction over the CBI controversy, Jaitley said that “The decision of divesting director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana of their charges was intended to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of the probe agency”.
“To maintain the institutional integrity of CBI and in the interest of fairness, purely as an interim measure, they will sit out by going on leave. A SIT not functioning under either of these officers will investigate. This is in accordance with the highest standards of fairness”, he added.
The Minister further said, “Director has been accused by Special Director. A Special Director has been accused by CBI. Two topmost officers of CBI have been accused. Now, who will investigate it? Requirements of fairness and fair play have to be there. The government ent can’t investigate it”.
The Centre on Wednesday asked CBI Director Alok Verma to go on leave as his rift with Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations.
It also directed M. Nageshwar Rao, who is presently serving as the Joint Director of the CBI to “look after the duties and functions of the CBI Director”.
The development comes a day after, the CBI suspended its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested on October 22 on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Following this, a trial court on Tuesday sent Devender Kumar to CBI custody for seven days.
Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Gujarat cadre is accused of accepting a bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana who was under the scanner in the Qureshi case in order to “wreck” the probe.
The case was being examined by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Asthana.