CBI feud Highlights: ‘I am under oath of secrecy,’ CVC refuses to speak on CBI row

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Oct 26, 2018 09:07 AM IST

In dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and joint director M Nageshwar Rao was asked to take over. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.Follow updates here:

10:07 pm IST

Alok Verma removed to cover up Rafale investigation: Chandrababu Naidu

CBI director Alok Verma(PTI/File Photo)
CBI director Alok Verma(PTI/File Photo)

6:45 pm IST

CBI says probe against Asthana to be impartial, fair

The CBI said an SIT set up to probe allegations against Rakesh Asthana, who was divested of his responsibilities as its Special Director, will carry out an impartial and fair inquiry expeditiously.

“We are making efforts to have expeditious, impartial and fair inquiry in bribery case against Asthana,” a CBI spokesperson said.

6:20 pm IST

Can’t speak to anybody: CVC on CBI row

I am under oath of secrecy. I can’t speak to anybody: KV Chaudhary, Central Vigilance Commissioner on Rakesh Asthana-Alok Verma issue

5:30 pm IST

Whatever investigation required is being done: CBI spokesperson

The image of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will not be tarnished as CBI is for country not for individuals, whatever investigation required is being done: CBI spokesperson

5:15 pm IST

DoPT says important to enquire into facts independently

It’s matter of great public importance that facts and circumstances which have given rise to such extraordinary and unprecedented situation are enquired into independently and before any further erosions to the credibility of the institution: Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT)

5:08 pm IST

CBI refuses to comment on govt, CVC’s statements on Alok Verma

CBI refuses to comment on statements by government and Central Vigilance Commission on director Alok Verma’s ‘non-cooperation’

4:45 pm IST

Grave allegations has vitiated the eco-system of CBI: Govt

The grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another, which has been widely reported in media, has vitiated the official eco-system of the organization: Govt statement.

4:05 pm IST

Centre’s decision goes against SC directions: Alok Verma

Law mandates secured 2 year tenure of CBI director to ensure independence. Decision of transfer of CBI director rests with high powered Committee. Centre’s decision goes against SC directions for an independent CBI: Alok Verma’s plea in SC against him being sent on leave., reports ANI.

3:48pm IST

Not all govt influence explicit: Verma

Alok Verma says in his petition that not all influence exerted by the government is explicit or in writing. “More often than not, it is tacit, and requires considerable courage to withstand it,” he says.

3:38pm IST

Asthana stymied decisions crucial to probe in sensitive cases: Verma

Alok Verma alleges in petition that Rakesh Asthana, whose appointment as special director was despite his reservation, stymied decisions crucial to the progress of investigation in sensitive cases, some of them being monitored by Supreme Court.

3:36pm IST

Matter of great concern: Mayawati

Misuse of govt machinery and interference in CBI’s functioning have earlier caused disasters and the ongoing disturbance at CBI is a matter of great concern for the nation. It’s good that the matter, that had the interference of the central govt, is before the Supreme Court now: BSP chief Mayawati

3:34pm IST

Move raises suspicions: Stalin

Nageshwar Rao met O Panneerselvam (deputy CM) at the Tamil Nadu secretariat. When CBI is investigating Gutkha scam and Madras high court has ordered an investigation against E Palaniswami (CM) for awarding contracts to his relatives, the move to send off CBI director Alok Verma has raised suspicions: MK Stalin

3:32pm IST

Undeclared emergency: Stalin

Is this move initiated to cover up Rafale scam investigations? This shows that an undeclared emergency has been imposed in our country. Appointment of controversial officer like Nageshwar Rao is nothing but to ensure that CBI remains the caged parrot of the BJP government: MK Stalin, reports ANI

3:30pm IST

Several complaints against Nageshwar Rao: Stalin

Several complaints were sent to the CBI director against Nageshwar Rao and there are reports that Alok Verma wanted to initiate investigations into allegations against him: DMK chief MK Stalin, reports ANI

3:28pm IST

CBI chief offers to furnish details of sensitive cases

Alok Verma offers to furnish details of sensitive cases that has led to the present circumstances later to the court.

3:27pm IST

Verma pleads for stay order

Alok Verma in his petition has asked for a stay on the order against him and says “the present action gives serious credence to the requirement that CBI be given independence from the DoPT, which seriously hinders the independent functioning of the agency”.

3:24pm IST

Alok Verma calls transfer illegal

Alok Verma calls his transfer illegal and says it violates the law that provides for a fixed tenure of two years. He says transfer of a CBI director has to be with the consent of the high-powered committee. The order sending him on leave bypassed the mandate of the committee.

3:20pm IST

Verma says Asthana posed hurdles in his work

Alok Verma alleges in his petition that Rakesh Asthana as special director posed hurdles in the recent past. He “concocted evidence to impugn the reputation” of Verma.

3:08pm IST

CBI chief created ‘wilful obstruction’ in CVC’s functioning: Govt

The CVC has also observed that the director, CBI, has been non-cooperative with the commission, non-compliant with the requirements / directions of the commission and has created wilful obstructions in the functioning of the commission which is a Constitutional body: Govt statement.

3:05pm IST

CBI director not cooperating with CVC: Govt statement

Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the director, CBI failed to furnish records / files before the CVC relating to his complaints. The CVC has observed that director, CBI, has not been cooperating in making available records/ files sought by the commission relating to serious allegations: Govt statement.

2:50pm IST

Plea in Bombay HC to probe row

A petition has been filed in Bombay high court seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an investigation into the Alok Verma-Rakesh Asthana issue, reports ANI. The petition also demands a retired Supreme Court judge in the SIT.

2:45pm IST

Sad state of affairs in CBI: Shiv Sena

Institutions like CBI, CVC, judiciary and Election Commission are pillars of democracy. It is really sad that the chiefs of the topmost investigation agency are accusing each other of corruption. This is a big issue for the upcoming Parliament Session: Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP, reports ANI.

2:30pm IST

Nageshwar Rao to supervise Mallya, Westland cases

All sensitive cases, including those relating to Vijay Mallya and Agusta Westland, will be personally supervised by new interim CBI chief Nageshwar Rao, reports ANI.

1:52pm IST

Rahul Gandhi questions CBI chief’s removal

Kal raat chowkidar ne CBI ke director ko hataya kyunki CBI Rafale pe sawal utha rahi thi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar, reports ANI.

1:32pm IST

Govt misusing central agencies: Singhvi

PM Modi once said Cong misuses agencies. Today, these words will come back to haunt him. Sorry state of affairs. Govt subverting premier investigative agencies: Singhvi

1:30pm IST

Govt trying to cover up corruption cases: Singhvi

Govt doing this due to Rafaleomania. Those working on important cases shunted out. Govt wants to cover up corruption cases: Singhvi

1:28pm IST

Govt violating CBI Act: Singhvi

Every CBI chief should have a tenure of two years. According to rules, if he has to be removed in an emergency, the case should be heard by a select committee. Where was the select committee last night: Singhvi

1:25pm IST

CVC has no power to appoint or remove: Singhvi

Govt is interfering in the case. CVC has no power to appoint, reappoint or remove. CVC is a supervisory body that supervises CBI. Cong charges CVC of misleading nation: Singhvi

1:20pm IST

Govt supporting accused: Cong leader Singhvi

Govt has violated CBI Act. Govt supporting accused in extortion charge, prosecutors rendered lame duck: Abhishek Manu Singhvi

1:05pm IST

Tharoor targets govt over CBI feud

The sordid goings-on that have reduced the nation’s premier investigative agency into a Keystone Cops operation — one more nail in the coffin of India’s once-prestigious institutions, all reduced by the Modi government to shadows of their former selves: Shashi Tharoor tweets.

12:48pm IST

A look at the team that will be probing Asthana now

Satish Dagar has in the past probed cases against Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Tarun Gauba had probed Vyapam cases.

The Supreme Court had reposed faith in Murugesan in the coal scam probe.

12:45pm IST

Mamata says ‘BJP Bureau of Investigation’

CBI has now become so called BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation) - very unfortunate: Mamata Banerjee says in tweet.

12:36pm IST

Jaitley replies on late night order

We are a fast acting govt. If we act fast, questions are raised ‘what’s the hurry’. If we don’t, we are asked ‘why are we delaying’: Jaitley on late night order.

12:32pm IST

Should restore credibility of CBI: Jaitley

Committed to preserve integrity of India’s administrative system. Should restore credibility of CBI: Jaitley.

12:30pm IST

Oppn charges rubbish: Jaitley

Opposition charges rubbish. If they say they know which cases CBI is going to investigate next, it is a matter of concern: Jaitley.

12:28pm IST

Two officers on leave to maintain integrity of probe: Jaitley

CVC has all the material that both officers have complained of. Yesterday, in its meeting, it was suggested that neither officer should probe it because they are accused. Therefore, they should go on leave, and an SIT headed by an officer operating under neither of them should probe it: Jaitley.

12:25pm IST

CVC, and not govt, can investigate this: Jaitley

Both top CBI officers are pointing fingers at each other. The govt won’t investigate this and it can’t. Central Vigilance Commission has the powers to investigate it: Jaitley.

12:22pm IST

Institutional integrity of CBI essential: Union minister Arun Jaitley

CBI is the premier investigative agency. Its institutional integrity is essential. We don’t want people outside to point fingers at CBI: Arun Jaitley.

12:15pm IST

New team to probe Asthana

CBI DIG Tarun Gauba, SP Satish Dagar and joint director V Murugesan will probe charges against Asthana, reports ANI.

12:05pm IST

Yechury’s ‘kaala pani’ jibe

We don’t know if CBI was investigating other issues like Rafale scam. If that was the case, it was ordered to protect the govt, PM and officers concerned. Why has the DIG investigating the charges against Asthana been sent to ‘Kaala Pani’ in Andaman: Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) tells ANI

12:00pm IST

Yechury terms it ‘coup’

The Modi govt and Prime Minister have conducted a political coup against the CBI. They have conducted transfer of all the officers and directors, and the main objective appears to be to protect the chosen officers of the Prime Minister posted at CBI: Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) tells ANI.

11:54am IST

Keshav Ram Chaurasia to take charge of Special Unit

DIG Keshav Ram Chaurasia who was working earlier under Asthana will take charge of the special unit from Anish Prasad

11:52am IST

Open fight spells doomsday for CBI: Former ASG

I maintain that the integrity of the institution (CBI) is most important. In an extraordinary situation, the government has full authority to act. At this time, an open fight between the top two people spells doomsday for the institution: Vikas Singh, former additional solicitor general, tells ANI.

11:52am IST

Anish Prasad will no longer look after Special Unit

DIG Anish Prasad will no longer look after the Special Unit, which handles technical surveillance, though he will continue to remain deputy director (administration). He was considered close to Verma.

11:50am IST

AK Sharma asked to hand over charge

AK Sharma has been asked to hand over charge of policy division and anti-corruption headquarters zone by 1pm.

11:45am IST

Yechury targets govt

The illegal removal of CBI chief by the Modi government to protect their own handpicked officer, against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated, points to attempts at a serious cover-up to protect his direct links to the BJP’s top political leadership. To ensure that the CBI is not a caged parrot, Supreme Court had granted protection to the chief from government’s whims and fancies by giving him a two-year tenure. What is Modi government trying to hide by its panic move? #BJPCorruption: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury in a tweet.

11:40am IST

Murugesan to look after anti-corruption headquarters zone

Another joint director, V Murugesan, who too was working under Asthana earlier, will look after the anti-corruption headquarters zone, which was earlier with AK Sharma.

11:38am IST

Amit Kumar interim in-charge of CBI’s policy division

Amit Kumar, a DIG working under Asthana earlier, has been made interim in-charge of the CBI’s policy division.

11:35am IST

AK Sharma no longer in-charge of CBI’s policy division

AK Sharma will no longer be in-charge of the most crucial policy division of CBI. The policy division acts as vigilance unit of the agency and all technical surveillance tools are under it.

11:32am IST

Kejriwal takes potshots at govt

What are the reasons for sending CBI director on leave? Under which law did the Modi government get the authority to initiate action against the chief of an investigating agency appointed as per the Lokpal Act? What is the Modi government trying to hide: Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet.

11:30am IST

Other transfers/postings

CBI’s JD (P) Arun Kumar Sharma, HoZ V Murugesan and DIG Amit Kumar have been transferred/posted, reports ANI. They were a part of the team probing the case against Asthana.

11:28am IST

Sai Manohar to continue to look after SIT working under Asthana

Sai Manohar though transferred to Chandigarh, will have headquarters in Delhi and will continue to look after the Special Investigation Team that was working under Asthana. Alok Verma, in a late night order last night, had removed Sai Manohar from SIT.

11:22am IST

Asthana aide transferred

Asthana’s aide in the Special Investigation Team, joint director A Sai Manohar, has been transferred to Chandigarh.

11:20am IST

More transfers

CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG Taurn Gauba, DIG Jasbir Singh, DIG Anish Prasad, DIG KR Chaurasia, HoB Ram Gopal and SP Satish Dagar have been transferred, reports ANI. They were probing the case against Rakesh Asthana.

11:18am IST

Powerful joint director AK Sharma sidelined

Powerful joint director AK Sharma, supervising the probe against Rakesh Asthana, has been transferred as joint director, in-charge of Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Authority, which was formed to look into the larger conspiracy into Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, and is considered a shunting post in the agency.

11:15am IST

The transfers

Deputy SP, CBI, AK Bassi has been transferred and posted as deputy SP, CBI, ACB, Port Blair. Additional SP, CBI, SS Gum has been transferred and posted as CBI, ACB, Jabalpur, reports ANI. They were probing the case against Rakesh Asthana.

11:12am IST

Cong targets govt over CBI infighting

Modi government buries the last nail into the independence of CBI. Systematic dismantling and denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility and reliability is buried and dead. PM Modi seeks to achieve surreptitiously and clandestinely what he can’t do directly to sack the CBI director. Habitual and perpetual misuse of CBI by Modi government and BJP to tamper fair investigation of serious criminal cases is the reason for this unfathomable mess: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a series of tweets.

11:07am IST

M Nageshwar Rao takes charge

M Nageshwar Rao takes charge as interim CBI director. CBI spokesperson denies any room at the headquarters has been sealed.

10:52am IST

‘Centre’s move will compromise investigation in many cases’

Gopal Sankaranarayanan, lawyer appearing for Alok Verma, tells Supreme Court that the central government in the morning, asked Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana to go on leave, compromising investigation into many sensitive cases, reports ANI.

10:48am IST

Entire team probing case against Asthana changed

The entire team probing the case against Rakesh Asthana has been changed. Investigating officer Ajay Bassi has been removed. Deputy inspector general Manish Sinha too has been removed from the case. The case was under the Anti-Corruption Headquarters zone, which was under the powerful joint director AK Sharma. He too has been transferred internally.

10:45am IST

Alok Verma’s petition accepted by SC

CBI director Alok Verma has moved a petition in Supreme Court challenging his removal and the appointment of an interim chief of the agency. The petition will be heard on October 26 (Friday).

10:23am IST

No files to be processed at CBI director’s office

There will be no movement of officials or files at CBI director’s office and CBI special director Rakesh Asthana’s office till 2 pm today, reports ANI

10:18am IST

Offices sealed

Officials sealed rooms of director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana. Both top officials have been stripped of their responsibilities.

10:10am IST

Offices of CBI director, special director cordoned off

No staff is being allowed on 11th floor of the CBI headquarters where offices of director Alok Verma, special director Rakesh Asthana, acting chief Nageswar Rao, and another key officer AK Sharma are located.

9:47am IST

Developments began after late night order

The government order stripping Alok Verma of his charge as CBI chief was served to him at 2:30am.

8:30am IST

Nageshwar Rao appointed interim CBI chief

A late night government order announced joint director M Nageshwar Rao as the interim chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with immediate effect and stripped chief Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana of charge.

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