CBI vs CBI: Supreme Court to hear Alok Verma’s plea on Friday

Cheryl Sanders
October 25, 2018

After Asthana had challenged the same in Delhi High Court yesterday, a few hours later, a decision was taken by the Central government to send Verma on leave.

Earlier, in a letter to the Central Vigilance Commission, Asthana had accused Bassi of conducting a "roving inquiry" against him and his family at Verma's behest. The top court has scheduled the hearing of his plea for Friday. Targeting the Centre, Mr Verma contended that divesting him of his powers "overnight: amounts to interference in the independence of the agency". Stalin termed the sealing of the CBI headquarters an undeclared emergency and said the appointment of controversial officer like Nageshwar Rao is nothing but to ensure that CBI remains the caged parrot of the BJP government.

Kumar was charged with falsifying the statement of a Hyderabad-based businessman named Sathish Sana, a key witness in the case, in order to implicate Verma.

On the charge that the FIR lodged against Mr. Asthana hd not been reported to the CVC in time, the CBI said it could not answer queries made to the then Director.

Changes have been effected from the investigation officer to the supervisory level, they said.

The CVC, which received details of the charges both officers had levelled against each other, made its recommendations last evening as an "accused or potential accused" can not be allowed to be in charge of investigation against them, Jaitley told reporters. There are bound to be occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government.

The Congress has accused the Prime Minister of interfering in the working of the CBI and wondered if Verma was "sacked" for his keenness to probe the "layers of corruption" in the Rafale scam. Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the Director, CBI failed to furnish the records / files before the Commission.

But Jaitley dismissed as "rubbish" the allegation of a Rafale link.

Recalling various SC judgements, Verma said the present actions give serious credence to the requirement that the agency be given independence from the DoPT.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wondered if Verma was "sacked" for his keenness to probe the "layers of corruption" in the Rafale scam and sought an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Over the recent past, although all functionaries within CBI from the investigating officer and the superintending officers up to the Joint Director and the Director have agreed on a certain course of action, the Special Director has been of a different view", he said, referring to Asthana.

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