CVC may summon CBI Director Alok Verma, Special Director Rakesh Asthana

'The commission has got most of files related to cases, in whose probe, charges of alleged interference by Verma came up,' CVC chief said.

New Delhi: The CVC might summon CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana to record their statements as part of an inquiry being conducted on the Supreme Court's direction, according to the graft watchdog's chief K V Chowdary.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) initiated the probe following a complaint of corruption against Verma.

The commission has got most of the files related to the cases, in whose probe, the charges of alleged interference by Verma came up, Chowdary told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event in Delhi.

"We have got most of the files. We are in process of getting some files from the CBI. Nothing much can be said now as the matter is sub judice," he said.

When asked by news agency PTI, whether the CVC plans to call Verma and Asthana to record their statements, Chowdary said that "as of now we are examining the documents and if the need arises, then all concerned would be called in".

He said no summons have been issued either to Verma or Asthana to appear before it in connection with the probe.

The CVC had on Tuesday examined some CBI officials probing crucial cases which figured in Asthana's complaint of corruption against the CBI chief Alok Verma, officials said. They said officials from the rank of inspector up to the superintendent of police of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were called and their versions were recorded before a senior official of the CVC.

The officials who recorded their statements on Tuesday include those who handled the Moin Qureshi bribery case, the IRCTC scam, involving former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, the cattle smuggling case in which a senior BSF officer was caught with wands of cash in Kerala, according to the officials.

These officials were called from the CBI headquarters and some from zonal offices, including Kochi, they said requesting anonymity.

The Supreme Court had on Friday asked the CVC that exercises superintendence over the CBI in corruption matters, to complete within two weeks its inquiry into allegations against Verma levelled by Asthana.

The two feuding officers, who have alleged each other of impropriety, have been sent on leave by the Centre.

The Supreme Court had directed that the CVC's inquiry into the allegations against Verma, who has challenged the government's decision divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave, would be conducted under the supervision of retired apex court judge Justice A K Patnaik and this was a "one-time exception".

The feud between Verma and Asthana escalated recently leading to registration of an FIR against Asthana and others including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in the CBI custody in an alleged bribery case.

The CBI had on October 15 registered an FIR against Asthana for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Sathish Babu which was given through two middlemen Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad to sabotage the probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

On August 24, Rakesh Asthana, in his complaint to the Cabinet Secretary, had levelled allegations against Verma that he got a bribe of Rs two crore from Sana to help him get some relief from questioning in the matter.

( Source : PTI )
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