New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday curtailed the tenures of Special Director Rakesh Asthana and three more senior officers in the CBI with immediate effect, days after the agency’s chief Alok Verma was shunted out by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel.
Mr Asthana, the Gujarat-cadre IPS officer who had an unprecedented feud with his boss Mr Verma, was sent on forced leave by the government in October last year.
The tenures of Mr Asthana, Joint Director Arun Kumar Sharma, Deputy Inspector General Manish Kumar Sinha and Superintendent of Police Jayant J. Naiknavare have been curtailed, the Personnel Ministry said in an order.
Mr Verma and Mr Asthana had levelled allegations of corruption against each other. They were sent on forced leave by the government. Amidst the feud between the two, the CBI registered a corruption case against Mr Asthana when Mr Verma was the agency’s chief.
Meanwhile, the government appointed M. Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI chief. Mr Rao had then transferred Mr Sinha, who was probing the FIR against Mr Asthana, to Nagpur from the agency’s Delhi headquarters.
His transfer was, however, reversed by Mr Verma who was again in January given the charge of the CBI Director following a decision by the Supreme Court.
Mr Verma was shunted out as the CBI chief by the Modi-led high-powered committee that comprised Supreme Court judge A.K. Sikri and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge as the members.
Mr Verma was then appointed as the Director General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. He, however, refused to take up the new post, saying he had already superannuated from the Indian Police Service after completing 60 years of age on July 31, 2017. Mr Verma took over as the CBI chief for a fixed two-year term on February 1, 2017.
The tenure of Mr Sinha, whose name had also come up in the CBI controversy involving its two top officers, was also curtailed. Mr Sinha, in a petition filed before the Supreme Court against his transfer, dragged the names of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and Central Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chowdary over alleged attempts to interfere in the probe against Mr Asthana.
Mr Asthana and Mr Sharma are Gujarat-cadre IPS officers. Whereas, Mr Sinha is a 2000-batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre and Naiknavare belongs to
2004-batch Maharashtra cadre.