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Alok Verma removed as CBI chief by selection panel


New Delhi, Jan 10: The high powered committee headed by the Prime Minister has removed Alok Verma as the CBI director. The decision was taken following a selection committee meeting comprising the Prime Minister, leader of opposition and a judge of the Supreme Court.

Alok Verma

He has now been made DG, Fire Sevices, Civil Defence and Home Guards.

The SC had on Tuesday reinstated Verma as the chief of the CBI after he had been sent on leave by the Centre in a midnight order. The court however said that it would be the selection panel which would take a final call on the matter.

Following the order, the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi who authored the verdict nominated Justice A Sikri to be part of the panel that decides the appointment and removal of the CBI chief.

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The leader of the opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge opposed the sacking, but Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Justice A K Sikri favoured the removal of the chief.

The panel it may be recalled had met on Wednesday, but the meeting remained inconclusive as the order of the Central Vigilance Commission report was not available.

The panel took into account the extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against Verma. The panel was of the view, that being the head of a very sensitive organisation, Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.

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CVC found evidence of influencing of investigation in the Moin Qureshi case. There was also evidence of taking of bribe of Rs 2 crore. CVC was of the view that his conduct in the case is suspicious, and there is a prima facie case against him. The CVC also felt that the entire truth will come out if a criminal investigation is ordered.

In the IRCTC case, the CVC felt that it can be reasonably concluded that Verma deliberately excluded a name from the FIR, for reasons best known to him.

The CVC found evidence against Shri Verma in several other cases as well.

The CVC also found instances of wilful non-production of record, and fabrication of record.

The Committee also took note of Verma's attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity in CBI, sources said.

The Committee felt that as a detailed investigation, including criminal investigation, was necessary, in some cases, his continuation as CBI Director was not desirable, and he should be transferred.

Following the Supreme Court order, Verma had assumed office on Wednesday. Following this he had revoked most of the transfers done by the interim chief, Nageshwar Rao. The court in its order had said that Verma will not take any major policy decisions.

It may be recalled that following a public spat with deputy CBI chief, Rakesh Asthana, the Centre had sent Verma on leave. The government had also sent Asthana on leave. Asthana on the other hand had challenged the investigation launched against him by the CBI on corruption charges. The Delhi HC has reserved order in the matter.

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