Prime Minister-led panel removes Alok Verma as CBI Director, Rao back in charge

Mr. Verma is posted as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards; M. Nageshwar Rao appointed interim Director.

The high-power committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday removed Alok Verma as CBI Director, a day after he resumed office following the Supreme Court verdict restoring his position. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who represents the Opposition in the three-member panel, gave his objections in a six-page note where he argued that Mr. Verma should be “allowed to explain himself before this committee, along with the charges made against him, prior to any decision being taken”.

Grave charges

However, government sources said in the light of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report against Mr. Verma, a detailed investigation, including criminal probe, was “necessary” and therefore, his position was untenable.


Verma revokes transfers ordered by interim chief

The Selection Panel recommended Mr. Verma’s transfer after taking into account “extremely serious nature of observation” made by the CVC against him, claimed sources. In a point-by-point rebuttal, Mr. Kharge had argued that six of the 10 charges levelled against Mr. Verma in the CVC report “are found to be unsubstantiated/false.” The panel, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice A.K. Sikri — the Chief Justice India’s nominee on the panel — was of the opinion that Mr. Verma had been given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC, in the presence of Justice A.K. Patnaik (retired). The Cabinet Committee on Appointments has now posted Mr. Verma as Director-General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, for the remaining period of his present term that ends on January 31.

Question of integrity

And, until further orders, Additional Director M. Nageswara Rao has again been appointed interim CBI Director. The panel concluded that as the head of a sensitive organisation, “Mr. Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.”

It noted that the CVC had found evidence of influencing investigation in the Moin Qureshi case. Further, a government source claimed there was evidence of a ₹2 crore bribe and in the IRCTC case pertaining to the tenure of former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, a key name was left out of the FIR, as alleged.

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