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CBI chief quits, lambasts sacking
by Resmi Sivaram January 12, 2019
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NEW DELHI: Alok Nath Verma, who was fired as director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday, submitted his resignation from the Indian Police Service (IPS), calling his ouster a violation of natural justice. He refused to take up the job of director general of fire services.

A high-power panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi fired him late Thursday. Supreme Court senior Justice AK Sikri stood with Modi who wanted Verma out while Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, opposed the action.

Verma, whose explanation was not sought before the sacking, said in a statement that “natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the director.”

Verma said he was transferred on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations” made by only one person, who was inimical to him, obviously a reference to his archrival, former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana.

The panel had decided that as CBI chief, Verma had “not acted with the integrity expected of him.” Verma said it was “sad” that he was transferred to another post pursuant to the orders of the committee on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to him.” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the dissenting voice in the committee, revealed there were 10 allegations against Verma. “Six were false, four needed further investigations, and four had circumstantial evidence which were ‘unflattering’ to Verma,” he said in his note to the committee.

He also said Alok Verma’s tenure should be extended since he lost 77 days after being “illegally’ transferred”. Kharge also demanded that an “independent inquiry” into the removal of Alok Verma.

Asthana faces probe Asthana, meanwhile, was facing his own trouble. A court in Delhi said on Friday he will be investigated on the bribery charges against him.

Justice Najmi Waziri refused to cancel the case filed against Asthana, CBI Deputy Superintendent Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad, and also removed the interim protection from arrest given to Asthana against criminal proceedings.

The CBI has been told to complete investigation in the case against Asthana and others within 10 weeks.

Waziri said that permission for prior sanction to prosecute Asthana and Kumar was not needed, considering the facts of the case.

Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, on whose complaint the FIR was filed, alleged he paid bribe to get relief in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

CBI acting director M. Nageswara Rao meanwhile on Friday reversed several transfer orders issued by Verma on Wednesday and Thursday.

All of them now stand cancelled.

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