Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the only dissenting member in the selection committee that decided to remove Alok Verma from the position of CBI director, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Justice Patnaik’s report on Verma as well as the minutes of the January 10 meeting public.
Kharge, in a letter, said the step should be taken so that “public can draw its own conclusions in this matter”. The Congress leader, while asking for an immediate convening of the committee to select a new director for the agency, added that “manipulative actions of the government are directly causing deep embarrassment to the judiciary”.
In his dissenting note, Kharge had argued that the CVC does not have an air-tight case to prove Verma’s misconduct and that the committee should not arrive at a conclusion without hearing Verma. He said the allegations against Verma, which were investigated by the office of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, were based on circumstantial evidence which “cannot be the basis of finding a person guilty”
He said of 10 allegations levelled against Verma, six are unsubstantiated, four are found to be in need of further investigation, and four are found to be prima facie substantiated on basis of circumstantial evidence.
He also recommended that a ‘High-powered committee must order an investigation into the events of the early hours of October 23, 2018’. The Congress leader alleged that the procedure that led to the removal of Alok Verma as the chief of CBI, by sending him on forced leave, and replacing him with Nageshwar Rao, was the “conclusion of a conspiracy conceived and orchestrated at the highest levels of the government.”