The Committee claimed Verma was creating ‘willful obstructions’ in its functioning
- CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana sent on leave
- CBI joint director M. Nageshwar Rao appointed as interim CBI chief
- Verma’s entire team transferred; Asthana’s team stays put’
- Opposition parties claim Verma removed over Rafale investigations
The Central Vigilance Committee (CVC) said in a press release on Wednesday that CBI Director Alok Verma was ‘non-cooperative’ with the commission and ‘non-compliant’ with the requirements and directions of the CVC, and has created ‘willful obstructions’ in the functioning of the committee.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in a press conference earlier that the decision to send CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave was an interim order to facilitate a fair probe in the case, which will be undertaken by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Opposition leaders have criticised the government’s actions, claiming that Alok Verma was being targeted due to his investigation of the Rafale deal. Some leaders also claimed that M. Nageshwar Rao was also being investigated for corruption himself prior to his elevation to interim CBI chief.
Misuse of govt machinery & interference in CBI's functioning have earlier also caused disasters & ongoing disturbance at CBI is a matter of great concern for the nation. It's good that the matter that also had interference of central govt, is before the SC now: BSP chief Mayawati pic.twitter.com/gO7UZLYfso
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 24, 2018
Several complaints were sent to CBI director against Nageshwar Rao and there are reports that the CBI director Alok Verma wanted to initiate investigations into allegations against him: DMK Chief MK Stalin on Nageshwar Rao appointed as CBI interim director. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/K4oe8IoPw4
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
Institutions like CBI, CVC, judiciary, Election Commission are pillars of democracy. It is really sad that the chiefs of the topmost investigation agency are accusing each other of corruption. This is a big issue for the upcoming Parliament Session: Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP pic.twitter.com/GZf8tcopFO
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
CBI has now become so called BBI ( BJP Bureau of Investigation ) – very unfortunate!
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) October 24, 2018
Veteran lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is fighting the case in the Supreme Court, told India Today in an interview that the removal of Verma by the government was “illegal”, since he has an established tenure, and he can only be removed by the authority that appoints the CBI director, which is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes the Chief Justice of India and the leader of the opposition.
Sr lawyer @pbhushan1 to challenge #AlokVerma's removal as CBI chief in court. Watch him in conversation with India Today's @PoojaShali#ITVideo
More videos: https://t.co/Nounxo6IKQ pic.twitter.com/4Ap2An8Rpi
— India Today (@IndiaToday) October 24, 2018
Alok Verma has moved the Supreme Court against the procedure of his suspension. The Supreme Court will hear Verma’s plea on Friday.