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'Have Tried To Uphold Integrity Of Institution', Alok Verma Issues Statement After Removal As CBI Director

Live Law News Network
11 Jan 2019 5:41 AM GMT

Allegations were made by "only one person inimical to me", he said

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Alok Verma, who was removed as CBI Director by the High Powered Committee yesterday, has put out a statement today that he has always tried to "uphold the integrity of the institution, while attempts were made to destroy it".

He also said that the action against him was based on "false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to me".

Read the full statement of Alok Verma below :

"The CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected. It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside. It is sad that on the basis of false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to me, I have been transferred to another post pursuant to the orders of the committee which was assigned the task of deciding my future course of action as Director CBI. I have stood up for the integrity of the institution, and if asked will do it again in order to uphold the rule of law"

He was removed by the High Powered Selection Committee yesterday 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.

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 on Wednesday, 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.

Verma, who was appointed CBI director on January 20, 2017, had statutory term until January 19.

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