New Delhi: The high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sacked Alok Verma as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, has been removed from the high-profile post on the charges of corruption and dereliction of duty making him the first chief in the history of the agency to face such action, officials said.
According to news agency PTI, Verma is likely to be posted in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
There were eight counts of charges against him in the CVC report presented before the Committee also comprising Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The decision for the removal was taken by a 2:1 majority with PM Modi and Justice Sikri agreeing with the CVC report while Kharge opposing the move. The Congress leader gave dissenting note for the second time on Verma’s ouster.
The major development comes two days after the Supreme Court reinstated Verma as CBI Director quashing the Centre’s unprecedented “overnight” order in which he was stripped of his power and sent on leave along with his deputy after they traded corruption charges sparking a bitter feud.
The court, however, clipped Verma’s wings saying he cannot take any major policy decision till the high-powered committee, which selects the CBI chief, decides on his continuation since the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) is probing charges of corruption against him.
Hours before being removed from the post, Verma had ordered transfers of five officers, including two Joint Directors, one Assistant Director and two Deputy Inspector Generals (DIG).
Those transferred included Joint Directors Ajay Bhatnagar and V. Murugesan, DIGs M.K. Sinha and Tarun Gauba and Assistant Director A.K. Sharma.
Retaining the team probing the corruption case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, Verma appointed 2006 batch IPS officer Mohit Gupta to take charge of the investigation after Deputy Inspector General M K Sinha requested to recuse himself.
Hours after resuming office on Wednesday, he revoked most transfer orders issued by agency’s interim chief M Nageswara Rao.
The CBI chief and his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on the forced leave over two months ago to stop the “kilkenny cat fight” between them. They had accused each other of corruption.