New Delhi: Alok Verma, who was removed as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director unceremoniously by a high-powered selection committee on Thursday on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty, has claimed that he was transferred on the basis of ‘false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations’. The development comes two days after he was reinstated as the CBI chief by the Supreme Court which quashed the Centre’s October 23 order of sending him, along with deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana on forced leave to stop the ‘kilkenny cat fight’ between them. Also Read - Maharashtra Turmoil: 7:50 AM Swearing-in of Fadnavis 'Odd', Says BJP Counsel Mukul Rohatgi
In the CVC report, presented before the Committee also comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice AK Sikri, there were eight counts of charges against Verma. Also Read - Mallikarjun Kharge’s Dissent in CBI Chief Appointment, Transfer Coloured by His Political Views: Arun Jaitley
Hitting out at Verma, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said, “Don’t think Alok Verma’s statements are in good taste. If PM and a senior SC judge, after seeing CVC report, gave a decision, then its not fair for Verma to say the decision is bad. Govt should have settled this earlier. It has spoilt the name of the agency and CBI.” Also Read - Mallikarjun Kharge Guilty of Trying to Manipulate CBI Chief Selection Criteria, Says MoS PMO Jitendra Singh
Breaking his silence over the issue, Verma, in a statement to PTI late on Thursday night, said the CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected.
“It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside,” he said.
Verma, whose fixed tenure of two years was to end on January 31, is the first chief in the 55-years of the CBI’s history to face such action. He has been posted as Director General Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union Home Ministry. The charge of the CBI has been given to Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao, a government order issued on Thursday evening said.
(Inputs from agencies)