Alok Verma Removed As CBI Director By High Powered Committee [Read Order]
Alok Verma, who was reinstated as CBI Director by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, was removed by the High Powered Selection Committee today evening
The Committee consisting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, SC judge Justice A K Sikri(CJI nominee) and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge has decided to transfer him to the post of Director General Fire Services, for his residual term which will end on January 31.
Nageshwar Rao, who was given the charge of CBI director after Verma's divestment, will look after the charges of CBI Director for now, said the order issued by the Committee today.
As per an NDTV Report, the decision was taken with the concurrence of PM Modi and Justice Sikiri, amidst dissent of Kharge.
On January 8, Supreme Court had quashed the orders of CVC and DoPT which had divested Verma of the charges of CBI Director. The Court reasoned that the action by Centre against Verma amounted to "transfer", which required prior consent of the High Powered Committee under Section 4(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
Since the overnight orders issued against Verma on October 23 divesting him of powers of CBI Director had no prior consent of the Committee, the SC quashed them.
However, the SC also clarified that the issue regarding suitability of Verma to continue as CBI Director, in view of the allegations against him, was open to be considered by the Committee. Accordingly, the Committee was directed to take a call on this within a week. Verma's reinstatement was made conditional on Committee's approval, and he was restrained from taking major policy decisions until then.
Immediately on taking charge yesterday, he revoked the transfer orders passed by the interim Director Nageshwara Rao, which had shifted the officers in the team investigating the corruption case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
The issue has genesis in the in-fight between Alok Verma and Rakehs Asthana, the Special Director of CBI.
Verma was named in a corruption complaint forwarded to CVC in August 2018.
In October, an FIR was registered against Rakesh Asthana, with bribery allegations in relation to an investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Asthana has approached the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the FIR. The Court has reserved orders on his plea after arguments, and verdict will be pronounced tomorrow.
Verma, who was appointed CBI director on January 20, 2017, had statutory term until January 19.