NEW DELHI: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge submitted a dissent note before the High Powered Committee, which decided the ouster of Alok Verma as the CBI Director, questioning the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) findings against Verma.
Kharge, the lone dissenting voice in the high-powered selection committee in his note argued, why Verma should be restored with “full extent and authority of powers” under his office.
Verma was removed as the CBI Director on account of the extremely serious nature of observations made by the CVC against him. The CVC was of the view that being the head of a very sensitive organisation, Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.
“CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) report submitted to the Supreme Court doesn’t arrive at any conclusive finding with respect to allegations against him,” Kharge’s note accessed by ANI stated.
Kharge also demanded that Verma be allowed to continue as CBI Director for an additional period of 77 days to make up for the days lost when he was sent on leave.
“Having examined the contents of the CVC report, it is my considered opinion that Alok Verma be allowed to explain himself before this Committee, along with the charges made against him, prior to any decision being taken,” the note further read.
A high-powered committee comprising Justice Sikri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kharge met for over two hours on Thursday to decide the fate of Verma, who was reinstated by the Supreme Court earlier this week after he was sent on forced leave by the government.
Echoing similar sentiments, another senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal took to Twitter on Friday and wrote, “Alok Verma’s removal. The Committee ensured the caged parrot did not fly away fearing the parrot might spill the beans by parroting the goings on in the corridors of power. The caged parrot will remain caged.”
According to sources, the CVC found evidence of influencing of investigation in the Moin Qureshi case. There was also evidence of Verma taking bribe of Rs. 2 crore, the sources claimed.
The CVC was of the view that Verma’s conduct in the case was “suspicious,” and there was a “prima facie case” against him. The CVC also felt that the “entire truth will come out if a criminal investigation is ordered.”
In the IRCTC case, the CVC felt that it can be reasonably concluded that Verma allegedly “deliberately excluded” a name from the FIR, for reasons “best known to him,” the sources said.
The CVC found evidence against Verma in several other cases as well, the sources said, including instances of wilful non-production and fabrication of record. The Committee also took note of Verma’s alleged attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity in the CBI.
In response to the “insinuation” that he was not given a chance to be heard, the sources said that Verma was given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC in the presence of Retd. Justice Patnaik.
The Supreme Court also provided a copy of the CVC report to Verma’s advocate, the sources claimed.
The Committee felt that as a detailed investigation, including criminal investigation, was necessary in some cases, Verma’s continuation as CBI Director was not desirable, and he should be transferred, the sources mentioned.
Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, was posted as DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence, and Home Guards, two days after he was reinstated as the CBI Director by the Supreme Court. His reinstatement had come about two-and-a-half months after being divested of his powers and sent on leave by the government.
In his place, 1986-batch IPS officer M. Nageshwar Rao, who is Additional Director of CBI, will look after the duties of the Director, till the appointment of a new Director or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.