New Delhi, Jan 10 : The decision to remove Alok Verma from the post of CBI Director was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed high-powered select committee today after a 135-minute-long meeting. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge gave a dissent note during the meeting against its decision to shunt out Alok, two days after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court.
The select committee comprised Modi, CJI nominee Justice AK Sikri and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. CBI Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao will look after the duties of CBI chief till a new appointment or until further orders.
Mandate of the Selection Panel headed by Prime Minister Modi is limited to appointment of CBI chief, and transfer of CBI chief.
Kharge said during the meeting that Verma, who was sent on a forced leave, should not be penalised and be given an extension of 77 days for which he was not allowed to attend the office. This is the second time Mr. Kharge has objected to Mr. Verma’s removal.
During the meeting, Justice Sikri said there are charges against Mr. Verma to which Mr. Kharge asked “where are the charges”, according to the sources.
The Selection Panel has recommended the transfer of Alok Verma as CBI Chief. The ACC has subsequently posted Alok Verma as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence, and Home Guards.
The CVC found evidence of influencing of investigation in the Moin Qureshi case. There was also evidence of taking of bribe of Rs 2 crore. CVC was of the view that his conduct in the case is suspicious, and there is a prima facie case against him. The CVC also felt that the entire truth will come out if a criminal investigation is ordered,” added sources.
The CVC, in the IRCTC case, felt that it can be “reasonably concluded that Shri Verma deliberately excluded a name from the FIR, for reasons best known to him.” The agency also found proof against Verma in many others cases.
“The CVC also found instances of wilful non-production of record, and fabrication of record. The Committee also took note of Shri Verma’s attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity in CBI,” added the sources.
Alok Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, had taken over as the CBI chief after the Supreme Court reinstated him on Tuesday. The SC had set aside the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Centre’s decision to divest him of his powers to function as its head but with limited powers.
The Congress tweeted that by removing “Alok Verma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC.”
As per the sources,Committee also took note of Alok Verma’s attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity. In response to the insinuation that he was not given a chance to be heard, he was given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC, in presence of Retd. Justice Patnaik.