Published On: Thu, Nov 15th, 2018

CVC finds no corruption evidence against CBI chief Alok Verma

New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has reportedly found no proof of corruption against CBI chief Alok Verma, it has emerged a day before the Supreme Court takes up the report of an investigation into allegations by his deputy Rakesh Asthana.

CBI Director Alok Verma

Sources say the CVC has found no evidence of any corruption, or money transactions done on the name of Alok Verma and he has been cleared of the main allegation of bribery.

However, The CVC has found “administrative lapses” was made by Verma, say sources.

While investigating the allegations against the CBI Director and Special Director, the CVC heard both Verma and Asthana, who had written to the government and the CVC chief accusing his boss of taking bribe from meat exporter Moin Qureshi on the agency’s crosshairs.

Alok Verma has also accused Asthana of taking bribe from the same businessman.

The massive rift within the CBI came out in the open when Alok Verma launched an investigation against Rakesh Asthana, who in turn wrote against him to the Cabinet Secretary and the CVC chief.

Both the officers, Verma and Asthana, were sent on compulsory leave last month.

CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana

Alok Verma, whose functions were taken over by the interim chief M Nageswara Rao after a dramatic post-midnight government order sending him on leave, went to the Supreme Court, which asked the CVC to wrap up its investigation within two weeks.

The CVC handed over its report in a sealed cover on Monday to the Supreme Court and the court is scheduled to hear it tomorrow.

The court is also likely to consider the report of acting CBI director Rao also filed in a sealed cover in the court with regard to the decisions taken by him from October 23-26.

Besides the plea filed by Verma, the court is also seized of the PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, which has sought a probe by special investigation team against CBI officers.

The court has issued notices to the Centre, CBI, CVC, Asthana, Verma and Rao asking them to respond to it by November 12.

The court had taken both the reports (CVC and Rao) on record on Monday.

The CVC probe against Verma was supervised by former Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik and the probe was completed on November 10.

On October 26, the top court had appointed Justice Patnaik to supervise the ongoing inquiry of CVC against Verma.

The apex court had issued notices to the Centre and the CVC seeking their replies on Verma’s petition challenging the government’s decision to divest him of his powers as CBI chief and sending him on leave.

On October 26, it had also set a deadline of two weeks for the CVC to complete the preliminary inquiry against the CBI director.

Acting CBI Director M Nageshwar Rao

Besides, it had barred Rao from taking any major policy decision but granted him liberty to perform routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functional.

It had said a list of all the decisions taken by Rao since October 23, including decisions with regard to transfer of investigations, change of investigating officer(s) etc, will be furnished to the court in a sealed cover on or before November 12, 2018, where after orders as would be appropriate will be passed by the court.

The CVC was directed by the court to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made in the August 24 note/letter of the Cabinet Secretary with regard to Verma.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge

Asthana has also moved the apex court with a separate petition in the matter and has sought removal of Verma from the post of CBI Director.

On November 4, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had moved the top court contending that divesting Verma of his statutory powers and functions is “completely illegal and arbitrary”.

In an interlocutory application filed in the pending petition, Kharge, who is also a member of the three-member selection committee which appoints the CBI director, said that “as a concerned stakeholder he brings to the attention of the court the brazen and illegal actions” of the political executive in interfering with the independent functioning of the CBI director.

Inputs with Agencies

About the Author