A decision taken past midnight and how Doval sent Verma and Asthana on leave
New Delhi, Oct 24: It was past midnight and the government wanted to put an end to the ugly spat that has been on in the Central Bureau of Investigation. A corruption case, counter charges and cases in court.
The spat between CBI chief, Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana had gotten ugly and the government wanted to restore normalcy at any cost.
At around 12.30 pm, National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval who had been asked to look into the matter, decided that the two officers had to be sent on leave. He summoned officials to the Prime Minister's Office by around 1 am and directed them to issue an order asking the two officers to go on leave. On Tuesday, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary had recommended that both the officers be sent on leave.
An order was issued by the appointments committee headed by the Prime Minister. The order while asking the two officers to go on leave also appointed M Nageshwar Rao as the interim boss of the CBI.
The same was conveyed to Rao, whose next job was to seal the offices of Verma and Asthana. He went about his job amidst tight security. Rao then sent out letters to the officers part of both Verma's and Asthana's team on leave.
Following this the two officials were informed about the decision taken by the government. The message was conveyed by their messengers. This morning the two officers were not permitted to enter their offices. It was also decided that there would be no movement of files from their offices.
The decision to send Asthana on leave was in fact taken on Tuesday itself. This was decided after he decided to take the CBI to court challenging the corruption case filed against him. The CBI was directed to maintain status quo and was also ordered to not arrest Asthana until the next date of hearing.