Thursday, January 10, 2019

PM-led selection panel removes Alok Verma as CBI chief

The high-powered selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday decided to remove Alok Verma as the chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said officials.

Alok Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, has been removed from the post on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty making him the first chief in the history of the agency to face such action, they said.

The decision came following the second meeting of the PM-led selection panel, which also included Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice AK Sikri, who was nominated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to represent him.

There were eight counts of charges against Alok Verma in the CVC report presented before the committee.

The decision for the removal was taken by a majority with Kharge opposing the move, they said.

The high-powered panel had held its first meeting on Wednesday. The meeting was inconclusive.

Earlier, Supreme Court had reinstated Verma after he was sent on forced leave by the government. The top court had asked the selection panel to decide on the fate of Alok Verma.

SC had asked the government to convene the meeting within a week of its order. It had quashed the government's unprecedented "overnight" order issued in October last year, stripping Verma of his powers and sending him on leave after he and his deputy traded corruption charges, sparking a bitter feud.

The CBI chief and his deputy special director Rakesh Asthana were sent on the forced leave over two months ago. They had accused each other of corruption.

Verma, who resumed office on Wednesday, had revoked most of the transfers done by M Nageshwar Rao, who was appointed as the interim CBI chief in his absence.

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