The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has issued a statement on the sensational developments at the top of India's top investigative agency, namely, the two top officials in the CBI -- Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana -- being sent on leave following the corruption allegations they'd made against one another.
Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Asthana divested of their roles as Director and Special Director of CBI respectively. M. Nageshwar Rao to look after the duties and functions of Director CBI
Posted On: 24 OCT 2018 2:33PM by PIB Delhi
The grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another, which has been widely reported in media, has vitiated the official eco-system of the organization. The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI leading to a potential loss of credibility and reputation of the Premier Investigating Agency of the Government It also vitiated the working environment of the organization which has deep and visible impact on the overall governance.
2. The CVC, on receipt of a complaint on 24th August, 2018 containing various allegations against the senior functionaries of the CBI has served three separate notices (under section 11 of CVC Act, 2003) on 11th September, 2018 upon the Director, CBI to produce files and documents before the Commission on 14"' September, 2018. Various opportunities have been given to produce such records and after several adjournments, though CBI assured the Commission on 24th September, 2018 to furnish the records within three weeks. Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the Director, CBI failed to furnish the records / files before the Commission. The CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records / files sought by the Commission relating to serious allegations.
3. The CVC has also observed that the Director, CBI has been non-cooperative with the Commission, non-compliant with the requirements / directions of the Commission and has created willful obstructions in the functioning of the Commission which is a Constitutional body.
4. Considering the extra-ordinary and unprecedented circumstances which has emerged, the Central Vigilance Commission in exercise of its powers (section 8 of CVC Act, 2003) of superintendence over the functioning of DPSE (CBI), in so far as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. has passed orders divesting Shri Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI and Shri Rakesh Asthana, Spl. Director, CBI of the functions, power, duty and supervisory role in respect of cases already registered and/or required to be registered and/or being inquired/enquired/investigated under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, until further orders.
5. The Government of India having carefully examined and evaluated the material made available to it, and being satisfied that an extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation has arisen which demands that Government of India shall exercise its powers under Section 4(2) of the DPSE Act. The Government of India has evaluated the material before it and in the interest of equality, fair play and principles of natural justice,decided to divest Shri Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI and Shri Rakesh Asthana, Spl Director, CBI of their functions, power, duty and supervisory role in any manner as Director, CBI and Spl. Director, CBI respectively.
6. This has been done as an interim measure and will subsist "till the CVC concludes its inquiry into all issues which have given rise to the present extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation and till the CVC and/or Government of India takes an appropriate decision in accordance with the law as regards to the measures to be adopted as a consequence thereof”.
7. In view of the above background, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved that during the period of such interim measure, Shri M. Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI shall look after the duties and functions of Director, CBI with immediate effect.
Amid row between the number 1 and number 2 at CBI, the Centre appointed Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao as the interim CBI director in an unprecedented move. Nageshwar Rao took charge as the CBI Interim Director around 2 am this morning, as per the sources.
Both Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana have been asked to step aside till investigation is complete, as per the recommendation of the CVC. The Superintendence of investigation is under CVC as per the law. The CVC has said that since there are charges and counter charges both have to step aside for a fair investigation.
Meanwhile, a new team has been put in place to handle the Rakesh Asthana case, after the Government decided to transfer the previous Investigating Officer Ajay Bassi to Port Blair. The new team that will probe the Asthana case will comprise of Satish Dagar, SP, Tarun Gauba, DIG and V Murugesan, Joint Director, among others.