Back as CBI chief, Alok Verma revokes transfer orders of interim director
New Delhi, Jan 9: CBI chief Alok Verma, who returned to his office in Delhi has cancelled most of the transfers ordered by M Nageshwar Rao, who had replaced him as interim chief.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday restored the powers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma as it set aside the Centre's decision to divest him of his powers to function as the head of the investigating agency.
In all, Rao ordered transfers and postings of 13 officials including the agency's powerful joint director (policy) AK Sharma, deputy inspectors general (DIG) MK Sinha, Anish Prasad, KR Chaurasia, Tarun Gauba, additional superintendent of police SS Gurm and deputy superintendent of police AK Bassi.
Verma was on Tuesday reinstated as CBI boss by the Supreme Court, which scrapped an October government order divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.
While restoring him, the Supreme Court said Verma cannot take any major policy decisions until a high-powered select committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India meet and decide on his status. The committee has to give its report within a week.
Alok Verma had challenged the government's October 23 order arguing that the CBI chief has a fixed two-year term and can be removed only by the high-powered committee. Verma's term ends on January 31.
The top court's ruling was perceived as a huge setback for the BJP-led government, which has been accused by the opposition of manipulating the CBI and misusing it to target rivals. Asthana remains on forced leave.
The Supreme Court had also asked Verma to respond to a vigilance report on him based on Mr Asthana's accusations. The CBI Director was accused by Asthana of taking bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency. Verma has accused Asthana of the same crime.