In the wake of government's decision to sack CBI director Alok Verma and appoint IPS Nageshwar Rao as the interim boss, the opposition has attacked the centre, accusing them of interfering in the matters of the investigative agency and trying to protect CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was sent on leave.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury has criticized PM Modi and his government, alleging they are trying to protect CBI's No.2 Rakesh Asthana amidst the bribery charges against him. His message on Twitter read:
"The illegal removal of CBI Chief by Modi government to protect their own handpicked officer, against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated, points to attempts at a serious cover-up to protect his direct links to the BJP's top political leadership."
He then followed it up with another tweet, accusing the centre of trying to hide something. "To ensure that the CBI is not a “caged parrot”, Supreme Court had granted protection to the Chief from govt’s whims and fancies by giving him a two-year tenure. What is Modi govt trying to hide by its panic move?#BJPCorruption," his message on the social media website read.
On the wee hours of Wednesday, the government stepped into the in-fight within CBI, and decided to sack Alok Verma as the Director while sending the agency's No. 2, Rakesh Asthana on a leave. Further, for the interim period, IPS Nageshwara Rao has been elevated as the CBI boss. CBI's No.1 Verma was accused by Asthana of corruption, though, the agency had booked case of bribery against Asthana himself earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Rakesh Asthana moved Delhi High Court seeking quashing of FIR and coercive steps against him. Asthana, through his counsel mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in his chamber.
Later in the day, the Delhi High Court denied to stay the proceedings against Asthana and DSP Devendra Kumar. While denying to stay the proceedings, the High Court said that all electronic records of the accused to be preserved including mobile phones, laptops etc.