New Delhi: A day after the removal of Alok Verma, Additional Director M Nageswara Rao on Friday again took charge of the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director.
Verma was on Thursday removed as the CBI Director on account of the “extremely serious nature of observations made by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) against him”.
The decision to remove Verma was taken by the Selection Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Chief Justice of India is also a member of the Committee but he was represented by Justice A K Sikri, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court.
Verma, who has been accused of corruption by his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana, resumed charge as CBI Director on Wednesday after the Supreme Court reinstated him a day before, saying that the Central government should have referred the case to the Selection Committee if it wished to initiate the removal of the CBI director.
M Nageshwar Rao, 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, will look after the duties of the Director, till the appointment of a new Director or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
Rao was first given charge as interim Director after the Centre’s October 23 decision when it has sent Verma on leave divesting him of his powers along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana following a bitter fight between them alleging each other’s involvement in corruption.
Asthana has accused Verma of accepting bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency.
Verma has also accused Asthana of the same crime.
In the wake of their bitter spat, the government, in the midnight of October 23, 2018, had sent both Verma and Asthana on leave, following which Verma challenged the government’s order in the apex court.