Global Watch

INDIA’s Federal Investigation Agency Chief & His Dy Forced To Proceed On Leave To Face Bribery Charges

CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, 61, and Special Director Rakesh Astana 57, have been forced to go on leave following lodging allegations against each other. Central Vigilance Commission will investigative the allegations against them. Government is not mandated to probe the allegations, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday. They  were earlier  summoned  by the Prime Minister  Narendra  Modi to hear their  allegations.PM reportedly  consulted some of his  colleagues and the CVC  .Joint director M Nageshwar Rao, an IPS officer of  1986 batch belonging to the  Odisha  cadre, has been  appointed interim chief of the CBI in a late night development on Tuesday .The 27th CBI Chief   Alok Kumar  Verma  belonging  to Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram  and Union Territories cadres, is due to end his tenure in January next. He has moved India’s Supreme Court challenging the action taken against him. His plea will be heard on Friday. The entire team probing the bribery case against CBI number 2 Rakesh Asthana belonging  to the  Gujarat Cadre  of  IPS  has been changed after the he and the agency chief Alok Verma have been  divested of all duties late on Tuesday night, as a fallout of a feud between the two. In an order issued  at 2.30 am IST on Wednesday served at Verma’s residence, the government said he was being divested of all responsibilities, said an official familiar with the development. Before being divested of all responsibilities as the CBI chief, Verma too had signed an order at 9pm on Tuesday divesting his deputy Rakesh Asthana of all responsibilities. Meanwhile, Acting CBI chief Rao has removed the entire team probing the bribery case against Rakesh Asthana. The team included Ajay Bassi, the investigation officer (IO) and deputy inspector general Manish Sinha. The case was under the anti-corruption headquarters zone, which was under the powerful joint director AK Sharma. He too has been transferred internally. Asthana in his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) had alleged that the Bassi was acting against him at the behest of director Alok Verma. The CVC, which has superintendence over th e CBI in corruption cases, and is already seized of the complaint by Asthana against the director and the counter FIR registered against him by the CBI, will seek a fair and impartial probe into the charges and counter charges. More changes in the investigation agency are being made   by the interim director to ensure a fair and impartial probe. Astana has challenged in the Delhi High Court the charges framed against him  by CBI  under Verma. The HC has provided him protection from arrest until the next hearing on October 29. October 15, the CBI booked Asthana and investigation officer of the case on the charges for receiving bribe from middlemen of Telgu speaking States .The CBI has arrested  Devender Kumar, the Deputy  SP under  Astana ,an investigation officer, alleging that he had fabricated the statement of Sana. Jaitley said the interim arrangement has been made as recommended by the  CVC.

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