Rakesh Asthana Moved Out Days After Alok Verma Removed From CBI: Sources


Rakesh Asthana had been sent on a leave after his spat with CBI chief Alok Verma (File)

New Delhi: 

Rakesh Asthana, number 2 to former CBI chief Alok Verma, has been moved out of the premier investigating agency just a week after his boss. The unprecedented public rivalry between the two men, involving tit-for-tat corruption allegations, has pushed the country’s premier investigating agency into a huge controversy over the last months.

Several other members of Mr Verma’s team have also been moved out. Sources said the churn is meant to clear the decks for the appointment of a new chief. A special panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on January 24 to pick Mr Verma’s successor.  

Mr Asthana, who is facing a bribery case, and Alok Verma were sent on forced leave in October as the infighting within the agency escalated. The tension between the two officers had flared up after Mr Verma’s team filed a police case against Mr Asthana, accusing him of taking bribe from a businessman on the agency’s radar.
In letters to the government, Mr Asthana alleged that it was his boss who took bribes.
Retaliating against the police case, Mr Asthana took the CBI to court and requested that the case against him be cancelled. The Delhi High Court has rejected his appeal.

Mr Verma’s controversial removal from the top post last week has created a political storm.  The decision of the special panel led by PM Modi was based on a report by the anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission on the allegations against the officer.

Mr Verma claimed he was transferred on basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to him”. The officer, who was retiring by the end of this month, quit a day later, refusing to take charge as the Chief of Fire Services.

 





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Make Minutes Of Meeting On Former CBI Chief Alok Verma Public


The three-member panel on Alok Verma was headed by PM Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: 

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to bring in the public domain key documents related to sacked CBI chief Alok Verma, including the Central Vigilance Commission report and the details of the Selection Committee meeting on January 10 that led to the controversial ouster.

“The actions of the government… indicate that it is scared of having the CBI headed by an independent director,” said the Congress parliamentarian, saying the government should “come clean” by releasing these reports so the “public can draw its own conclusion”.

Mallikarjun Kharge represented the opposition in the three-member Selection Committee, in which the votes of PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri decided Alok Verma’s removal as Director of the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation.

Mr Kharge had put up a dissenting note in which he cited the Vigilance report, which said there was no evidence of the main corruption allegations against Alok Verma. That is the report he wants to be made public, along with one by Justice AK Patnaik, who monitored the vigilance probe.

“Despite my best efforts to convince the members of the committee that we should be following the due process of law and the principles of natural justice, the members chose to take a decision based on the report that now stands disowned by Justice Patnaik,” Mr Kharge has said in his letter to PM Modi.

The Congress leader said the media had widely reported that Justice Patnaik had said “there was no evidence of corruption against Verma” and “what the CVC says cannot be the final work” and termed the action of the committee “very, very hasty”.

“Such huge embarrassment could have been avoided if the committee had decided to independently examine the report of the CVC, the report of Justice Patnaik, the submissions of Alok Verma in his defence and draw its own conclusions before reaching a decision,” said Mr Kharge.

He said it was unfortunate that the “manipulative actions of the government” were directly responsible for causing “deep embarrassment to the judiciary”, adding that a member of the judiciary had been forced to defend the decision.

The government, alleged the Congress leader, seemed to be worried about something and in a tearing hurry to dispose a man from his office. “An irrational decision was taken to transfer Alok Verma as Director General Fire Services even after his superannuation.”

Mr Kharge said both Mr Verma’s removal and the appointment of an interim CBI chief were illegal.

He said the government must call an immediate meeting of the Selection Committee to appoint a director without delay.

Read Mallikarjun Kharge’s letter to PM Modi:





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Justice AK Sikri Didn’t Want to Be Part Of Panel On Alok Verma: Sources


Justice AK Sikri was appointed to panel on Alok Verma by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. (File)

New Delhi: 

After a political controversy that drove Justice AK Sikri to turn down a post-retirement job offer, sources have told NDTV that the Supreme Court judge did not want to be part of the three-member selection committee that decided to remove Alok Verma as CBI chief. Justice Sikri, sources say, had conveyed his reluctance to the two other members of the high-powered panel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the opposition’s representative.

He reportedly told them it was a “pure executive function”. Opposition leaders have questioned why he agreed to be on the panel despite the possibility of conflict of interest.

“In future, no judge would like to be part of this process of appointment. All judges will recuse themselves from this process,” said sources close to Justice Sikri, whose vote was the decider in the sacking of Alok Verma from the CBI just two days after he was partially reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Justice Sikri, 65, has now turned down the post of president/member of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, the arbiter of disputes among 53 countries in the Commonwealth. He was to take up the job after his retirement on March 6. Sources say Justice Sikri told the centre he had decided to withdraw his candidature to the London job as “he was pained”. He had already made it clear, say the sources, that this was not a post with remuneration.

“The government had approached him for the assignment last month. He gave his consent. The job required attending two to three hearings in a year and came without any remuneration,” sources close to the judge said.

Questions were raised on such an offer lined up for the judge who voted with PM Modi to remove Alok Verma. Mallikarjun Kharge was the dissenting member on the panel, who argued that the Central Vigilance Commission’s report made it clear the main corruption allegations against Mr Verma were unsubstantiated.

Justice Sikri was the nominee of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who had recused himself as he was part of the Supreme Court bench that passed an order on Mr Verma.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted an article by news website The Print on Justice Sikri being offered the post-retirement job.

Mr Gandhi alleges that PM Modi was desperate to throw Mr Verma out and didn’t want him in CBI for “even 15 minutes” as he would have ordered an investigation into the Rafale jet deal.





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Justice AK Sikri, Whose Vote Removed CBI Chief Alok Verma, Turns Down Government Offer


Justice AK Sikri is the second senior-most judge in the top court. (PTI)

New Delhi: 

Supreme Court judge AK Sikri, whose vote helped decide CBI chief Alok Verma’s removal from the top post, has turned down a post-retirement offer from the government.

Justice Sikri, who retires on March 6, was nominated for the post of president/member of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT), news website The Print reported.

The CSAT is the final arbiter of disputes among its 53 member-countries of the Commonwealth.

The top court judge, second in seniority after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was expected to join the CSAT soon after retirement.

Sources said Justice Sikri wrote to the centre saying he was “pained by the recent developments”, apparently referring to the criticism his vote invited following the ouster of the CBI chief.

“The government had approached him for the assignment last month. He gave his consent. The job required attending two to three hearings in a year and came without any remuneration,” sources close to the judge said.

“I am withdrawing my consent… please do not process,” his letter reportedly said.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had nominated Justice Sikri, for the selection panel — which included Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge — that was tasked by the Supreme Court to take a decision on Alok Verma, who was reinstated as the CBI boss this week.





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Justice AK Patnaik, Ex-Supreme Court Judge, Says No Evidence Of Corruption Against Alok Verma


New Delhi: 

Justice AK Patnaik, a former Supreme Court judge, who was tasked to supervise the alleged corruption investigations by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), against Alok Verma, has told NDTV that there is “no evidence” of corruption against the former CBI chief.

“The removal of Alok Verma by the PM-led panel was a very very hasty decision,” said Justice Patnaik, adding that the “findings of the CVC are not mine.” The probe against Mr Verma was entirely based on the complaint of CBI special director, Rakesh Asthana.

Mr Verma was removed as the CBI chief and transferred as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. He refused to take up the new job and sent his resignation to the government on Friday. In his resignation letter, Mr Verma said, “Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director.” He called the situation a moment of “collective introspection”.

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“Very, very hasty decision,” says Justice Patnaik on ex-CBI chief Alok Verma’s removal

“As a career bureaucrat, it is the idea of my integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service,” Mr Verma had said in his resignation letter.

Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, who was part of the three-member committee led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had sent a dissent note on the decision to remove Mr Verma from the top post in the CBI. PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri, who was representing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had favoured Mr Verma’s removal.

Mr Verma, who was forced to go on leave after alleged corruption charges by his number 2 Rakesh Asthana, was reinstated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.





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Alok Verma was trying to investigate Rafale deal, hence removed: Arvind Kejriwal


खास बातें

  1. केजरीवाल ने कहा- मेरे खिलाफ जांच कराई, कोई गड़बड़ी नहीं मिली
  2. राफेल सौदे में 36 जहाज खरीदे और 36 हजार करोड़ रुपये बना लिए
  3. अगर पीएम मोदी ने गड़बड़ नहीं की थी तो जांच करने देते

नई दिल्ली:

सीबीआई के पूर्व चीफ आलोक वर्मा के इस्तीफे को लेकर दिल्ली के सीएम अरविंद केजरीवाल ने केंद्र की मोदी सरकार को घेरा है. उन्होंने कहा है कि राफेल सौदे की जांच करना चाह रहे आलोक वर्मा को हटाने के लिए प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने पूरा जोर लगा रखा था.

केजरीवाल ने कहा कि ‘मेरे ऊपर इन लोगों (केंद्र सरकार) ने इतनी रेड कराईं, मेरे ऊपर सीबीआई की रेड कराई, मेरे ऊपर पुलिस की रेड कराई, मेरी 400 फाइलें मंगवाकर चेकिंग कर ली. लेकिन मुझे कोई डर नहीं था. सारी चेकिंग में एक पैसे की गड़बड़ी नहीं मिली.’

यह भी पढ़ें : आलोक वर्मा को हटाए जाने पर राहुल गांधी बोले- PM मोदी के दिमाग में घूम रहा है डर, सो भी नहीं सकते

केजरीवाल ने कहा है कि ‘अब राफेल सौदे में घोटाला निकला.  600 करोड़ रुपये का जहाज इन्होंने (केंद्र सरकार) 1600 करोड़ में खरीद लिया. एक-एक जहाज पर एक हजार करोड़ रुपये बना लिए. कुल 36 जहाज खरीदे तो 36 हजार करोड़ रुपये बना लिए. उसकी जांच आलोक वर्मा करना चाह रहे थे तो बीते दो महीने से प्रधानमंत्री जी ने पूरा जोर लगा रखा था उनको हटाने के लिए.’

VIDEO : आलोक वर्मा ने आईपीएस की नौकरी छोड़ी

टिप्पणियां

आम आदमी पार्टी के संयोजक केजरीवाल ने कहा है कि ‘यह सही नहीं है. अगर वे जांच कर रहे थे तो करने देते जांच. अगर प्रधानमंत्री जी ने गड़बड़ नहीं कर रखी थी तो दूध का दूध पानी का पानी हो जाता. ऐसे जबरदस्ती करना ठीक नहीं है संस्थाओं के लिए.’



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What Sacked CBI Chief Alok Verma Said In His Resignation Letter


New Delhi: 

Alok Verma, a day after he was removed as the CBI chief and transferred as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, has refuse to take up the new job and sent his resignation to the government.

“Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director,” Alok Verma said in his resignation letter to Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training.

Mr Verma called the situation a moment of “collective introspection”.

Following is Alok Verma’s resignation letter:

Subject – Reg. Office order dated January 10, 2019 

Vide order dated 10th of January 2019, the undersigned has been posted as the Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and transferred out of the Central Bureau of Investigation. 

1. The Selection Committee has not provided the undersigned an opportunity to explain the details as recorded by the CVC before arriving at the decision. Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director CBI. The Selection Committee did not consider the fact that the entire CVC report is premised on charges alluded by a complainant who is presently under investigation by the CBI. It may be noted that the CVC only forwarded a purportedly signed statement of the complainant, and the complainant never came before Hon’ble Justice (Retd.) A.K. Patnaik (supervising the enquiry). Also, Justice Patnaik has concluded that the findings/ conclusions of the report are not his. 

2. Institutions are one of the strongest and most visible symbols of our democracy and it is no exaggeration that the CBI is one of the most important organisations in India today. The decision made yesterday will not just be a reflection on my functioning but will become a testimony on how the CBI as an institution will be treated by any government through the CVC, who is appointed by majority members of the ruling government. This is a moment for collective introspection, to state the least. 

3. As a career bureaucrat, it is the idea of my integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service. I have served the Indian Police Service with an unblemished record and have headed police forces in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Mizoram, Delhi and also headed two organisations Delhi Prisons and the CBI. I have been lucky to have received the invaluable support from the forces that I have headed, which resulted in outstanding achievements having a direct bearing on the performance of the force and their welfare. I would like to thank the Indian Police Service and especially the organisations that I have served.

4. Also, it may be noted that the undersigned would have already superannuated as on July 31, 2017 and was only serving the Government as Director. CBI till January 31 2019, as the same was a fixed tenure role. The undersigned is no longer Director, CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today.





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CBI director n nageshwar rao reversed tranfer orders issued by alok verma


सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने आलोक वर्मा को जबरन छुट्टी पर भेजे जाने के आदेश को मंगलवार को रद्द कर दिया था. इसके बाद वर्मा ने राव द्वारा किए गए सभी तबादले रद्द कर दिए थे.

CBIvsCBI: नागेश्‍वर राव ने पद संभालने के बाद पूर्व निदेशक आलोक वर्मा के आदेश पलटे

(फाइल फोटो)





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Nageswara Rao Takes Charge As CBI Chief 2 Days After He Welcomed Ex-Boss Alok Verma


Nageswara Rao first took charge as interim chief under dramatic circumstances on October 23, around 2 am.

New Delhi: 

A day after the sacking of Alok Verma as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, additional director M Nageswara Rao again took over the top job on Friday.

Nageswara Rao, who had been made interim chief in October after Alok Verma was sent on forced leave, had personally welcomed him back to the CBI headquarters on Wednesday after he was conditionally reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Mr Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service officer, was again asked to take over by the Department of Personnel and Training.

Mr Rao first took charge as interim chief under dramatic circumstances on October 23, around 2 am, after Mr Verma was divested of his powers and sent away.

Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number two officer in the agency, was also sent on leave the same day. Both had exchanged vicious charges of corruption, in an unprecedented public feud in the investigating agency.

Mr Verma was removed yesterday, 48 hours after his reinstatement, by a high-powered selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a two-one decision backed by PM Modi and Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was the dissenting member.





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No Evidence Of Bribe. Why Alok Verma Was Still Removed As CBI Chief


Alok Verma was removed as CBI chief two days after his conditional reinstatement by the Supreme Court.

New Delhi: 

CBI chief Alok Verma was removed by a high-level committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday just two days after his conditional reinstatement by the Supreme Court.

Besides PM Modi, the panel of three included the Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge and Supreme Court judge, Justice AK Sikri – nominated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi who dropped out since he was on the bench that reinstated Mr Verma.

As the panel based its decision on a report of the Central Vigilance Commission on allegations against Mr Verma, Mr Kharge put up a dissent note that flagged how the main allegations were unsubstantiated.

The note included a summary of the vigilance report, which reveals that the main allegation of bribery – raised by Mr Verma’s deputy Rakesh Asthana – is not substantiated. “No evidence of payment of bribe; further investigation required for verifying circumstantial evidence,” said the report on the charge that Mr Verma took Rs. 2 crore from a businessman being investigated by the CBI.

On allegations of “not taking action on certain intelligence inputs” the report said: “Allegation not substantiated”. On the charge of “illegal gratification in ongoing preliminary enquiry against land acquisition in Haryana”, the findings were: “Allegation not substantiated, further inquiry will be required.”

Of the 10 allegations against Mr Verma, three were substantiated, while in six cases they weren’t. Even the ones that were shown to be substantiated vary in their levels of credibility, according to the vigilance report.

The allegation of exclusion of a suspect from being named as an accused in a First Information Report in the IRCTC case was “substantiated and amounts to serious misconduct and warrants disciplinary and other actions,” the note read.

One allegation – of failure to take action in gold smuggling case at the Delhi airport – was partially substantiated.

But sources say the panel decided that “being the head of a very sensitive organisation, Mr Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.”

“In the IRCTC case, the CVC felt that it can be reasonably concluded that Mr Verma deliberately excluded a name from the FIR, for reasons best known to him,” sources said.

Sources say the panel felt that as a detailed investigation was necessary, including criminal investigation in some cases, Mr Verma cannot continue as CBI chief and should be transferred.

Mr Kharge in his dissent note disagreed with the view. He said an inquiry into the conclusions by the Central Vigilance Commission should continue further but in parallel, he should not be denied his tenure and also should be given back his powers. Mr Kharge even recommended “an additional 77 day extension” to make up for the days he lost on forced leave.

The Congress leader also demanded an inquiry into the events of the night of October 23-24 when Mr Verma was asked to go on leave in a post-midnight government order. He said it would reveal the government’s conspiracy to remove the CBI director.

The Congress alleges that Mr Verma had rattled the government by trying to investigate the Rafale jet deal, which the party says was not above board.

After the high-profile job, Mr Verma will now be Director General, Fire Service. His tenure as CBI chief was to end on January 31.

Mr Verma was accused of corruption by his number 2 Rakesh Asthana in October, when the two officers traded charges in an unprecedented public rift within the country’s premier investigating agency.

As the government sent both on immediate leave and appointed an interim chief in a midnight swoop, Mr Verma approached the Supreme Court.





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