SC Agrees To Hear On Friday Alok Verma's Challenge Against His Removal As CBI Director
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday the petition filed by Alok Verma challenging the Central Government's decision to remove him as the Director of CBI.
The Central Government had yesterday given the charge of CBI Director to M. Nageshwar Rao IPS, in an extra ordinary measure. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed joint director M Nageshwar Rao as Interim Director of the investigative agency with immediate effect, said an order by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions dated 23 October 2018. Verma and Asthana have been "divested of all powers".
High drama has been unfolding in the CBI over past few days after the No.2 official, Rakesh Asthana, the Special Director of CBI, was named in an FIR pertaining to corruption allegations. It was alleged in the FIR that Asthana's subordinate Devendra Kumar had fabricated a statement of one Satish Sana to create incriminating evidence against Alok Verma. Asthana, who was booked by the agency on bribery charges in an unprecedented action, had complained against Verma on August 24, 2018
Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, mentioned Alok Verman's petition before CJI Ranjan Gogoi today morning and said the investigating officers of sensitive cases are being changed. The CJI agreed to list the case for hearing on Friday.
Asthana had moved the Delhi HC yesterday against the FIR registered against him. Adjourning the matter to October 29, the High Court said that status quo should be maintained till then, and directed Asthana to preserve all electronic records in his custody.
Read the Official Press Release Here
Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Asthana divested of their roles as Director and Special Director of CBI respectively
M. Nageshwar Rao to look after the duties and functions of Director CBI
The grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another, which has been widely reported in media, has vitiated the official eco-system of the organization. The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI leading to a potential loss of credibility and reputation of the Premier Investigating Agency of the Government It also vitiated the working environment of the organization which has deep and visible impact on the overall governance.
2. The CVC, on receipt of a complaint on 24th August, 2018 containing various allegations against the senior functionaries of the CBI has served three separate notices (under section 11 of CVC Act, 2003) on 11th September, 2018 upon the Director, CBI to produce files and documents before the Commission on 14"' September, 2018. Various opportunities have been given to produce such records and after several adjournments, though CBI assured the Commission on 24th September, 2018 to furnish the records within three weeks. Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the Director, CBI failed to furnish the records / files before the Commission. The CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records / files sought by the Commission relating to serious allegations.
3. The CVC has also observed that the Director, CBI has been non-cooperative with the Commission, non-compliant with the requirements / directions of the Commission and has created willful obstructions in the functioning of the Commission which is a Constitutional body.
4. Considering the extra-ordinary and unprecedented circumstanceswhich has emerged, the Central Vigilance Commission in exercise of its powers (section 8 of CVC Act, 2003) of superintendence over the functioning of DPSE (CBI), in so far as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. has passed orders divesting Shri Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI and Shri Rakesh Asthana, Spl. Director, CBI of the functions, power, duty and supervisory role in respect of cases already registered and/or required to be registered and/or being inquired/enquired/investigated under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, until further orders.
5. The Government of India having carefully examined and evaluated the material made available to it, and being satisfied that an extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation has arisen which demands that Government of India shall exercise its powers under Section 4(2) of the DPSE Act. The Government of India has evaluated the material before it and in the interest of equality, fair play and principles of natural justice, decided to divest Shri Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI and Shri Rakesh Asthana, Spl Director, CBI of their functions, power, duty and supervisory role in any manner as Director, CBI and Spl. Director, CBI respectively.
6. This has been done as an interim measure and will subsist "till the CVC concludes its inquiry into all issues which have given rise to the present extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation and till the CVC and/or Government of India takes an appropriate decision in accordance with the law as regards to the measures to be adopted as a consequence thereof”.
7. In view of the above background, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved that during the period of such interim measure, Shri M. Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI shall look after the duties and functions of Director, CBI with immediate effect.