Kharge felt Verma should be given a chance, Modi, Justice Sikri disagreed
New Delhi, Jan 11: Mallikarjun Karge who is part of the selection committee that appoints and removes the CBI chief sparred with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice A K Sikri over the Alok Verma issue.
Kharge was of the view that it was not right for the panel to take a decision, without hearing Verma who is due to retire on January 31 2019. However both Modi and Justice Sikri felt that Verma had an opportunity to present his side before the Central Vigilance Commission and that too in the presence of retired Supreme Court judge, Justice A K Patnaik.
Kharge argued that six out of the ten charges were unsubstantiated and the rest were based on circumstantial evidence. Kharge said that these charges need to be probed by the panel and hence Verma be given a chance to explain his position.
The others however countered Kharge and said that the mandate of the panel was limited to appointment and transfer of the CBI chief. A detailed investigation, including a criminal investigation was necessary and hence Verma continuing is untenable.
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.
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 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.