New Delhi: In an unprecedented shake-up in the CBI’s 55-year-history, both its director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana were stripped of their powers and sent on leave in a dramatic overnight action by the government after their worsening feud sparked a serious crisis in the country’s premier probe agency.
The government’s move came hours after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) recommended that Verma and Asthana be sent on leave and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be formed to probe corruption allegations against them.
The CVC, which is headed by K.V. Chowdary, has superintendence over the CBI in cases of corruption. As the rapid overnight changes in the CBI sparked criticism from the Congress and other opposition parties, finance minister Arun Jaitley put up a spirited defence of the government action.
But the opposition parties led by the Congress cried foul over the action against Verma. The Congress also dubbed the action as “last nail” in the independence of CBI.
A CBI spokesman later said the SIT will carry out an impartial and fair inquiry expeditiously.
A K Bassi, who was probing the case against Asthana, was dispatched to Port Blair in “public interest” with immediate effect. His reporting officer Additional SP S S Gurm was transferred to Jabalpur while surpervisor DIG M K Sinha was moved to Nagpur, the order said....