New Delhi: Interim CBI Director Nageswara Rao has transferred around 20 officials  including the investigating officer of the case probing the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) involving fugitive diamentaires Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. The transfer order, however, states that all the officers, who have been specially directed to supervise, investigate or enquire into any case or matter by any constitutional court, shall continue to do.

According to an official order, SK Nair, who was investigating the case against Nirav Modi and Choksi, was transferred to ACB Mumbai.

Nair has been replaced by A Saravanan, an superintendent of police from Chennai, who was probing the Anti-Sterlite protest case in which 13 people were killed. Moreover, Saravanan, will continue to investigate anti-Sterlite protests case, it said.

The investigation officer of the 2G scam case, Vivek Priyadarshi, who was posted in the Anti Corruption Branch in Delhi, has also been transferred to Chandigarh.

Prem Gautam, posted in Special Unit of the CBI which does internal snooping on officers as a vigilance measure, has been relieved from the position. He will continue to probe economic offences and will also handle additional charge of the Deputy Director (Personnel), it said.

Gautam will be replaced by Ram Gopal, who has been transferred from Special Crime branch in Chandigarh.

The major reshuffle by the interim CBI director comes on a day when a bench comprising CJI and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause challenging the appointment of Rao as interim CBI director.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi  recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the Rao’s appointment, saying he would be part of the selection committee to choose the agency’s new chief.

The high-powered committee to select the Central Bureau of Investigation director comprises the prime minister, the leader of the largest opposition party and the CJI or his nominee judge of the apex court.

On January 10, Rao, additional director in the CBI, was made interim chief till the appointment of a new director. This was after a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Kumar Verma as chief of the probe agency on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty.