NEW DELHI: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma was sacked on Thursday following a two-hour long meeting of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Selection Committee in New Delhi. The panel which also included Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the largest party in the Lok Sabha and the second senior-most judge in the Supreme Court, AK Sikri decided to remove Alok Verma with a 2-1 majority.
While Modi and Justice Sikri voted in favour of removing Verma, Kharge was against the move.
The panel previously convened on Wednesday night. However, the meeting remained inconclusive.
CBI chief Verma and his second-in-command Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on the forced leave over two months ago in October 2019 after reports of differences emerged between the two. The two seniormost CBI officials had accused each other of corruption.
The court, while reinstating Verma, however, made it clear that he will desist from taking any major policy decision till a high-powered committee considers the issue of “divestment of power and authority”.
Verma later had challenged his ouster from the CBI in the Supreme Court. Asthana too approached the Delhi High Court for quashing of an FIR registered by the CBI, reportedly at the instance of Verma, in an alleged corruption case. A decision in this regard is pending in the high court.
Verma’s two-year fixed tenure as CBI director ends on January 31.
Justice Sikri will have a huge role to play in the final decision as Kharge had vehemently opposed the government when Verma was sent on leave in October 2018.
Kharge had demanded answers from the Prime Minister stating that the decision was made without consulting other members of the panel that selected him. Kharge was part of the three-member panel headed by PM Modi that had selected Verma as CBI chief. The then Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar was the other member of the selection committee.
Source: Zee News