08:37 Transferred on basis of false and frivolous charges: Alok Verma:
Alok Verma, who has been removed from the post of Central Burau of Investigation director unceremoniously by a high-powered selection committee, has claimed that he was transferred on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations” made by only one person who was inimical to him.
The high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Verma from the post on Thursday on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty.
Breaking his silence over the issue, Verma, in a statement on Thursday night, said the CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected.
“It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside,” he said.
Verma termed it “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”.
The 1979-batch IPS officer has been posted as the Director General Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union home ministry.
The charge of the CBI has been given to Additional Director M Nageshwar Rao, said a government order issued on Thursday.
Headed by the prime minister, the high-powered committee comprised Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as his nominee.
Verma said the committee was assigned the task of deciding his future course of action as the director of the CBI.
“I have stood up for the integrity of the institution, and if asked will do it again in order to uphold the rule of law,” he said.
Verma had resumed duty as CBI director on Wednesday, a day after the apex court paved his return with some riders and asked the three-member panel that selects the CBI chief to decide on his continuance in a week in the light of charges against him in the report of the Central Vigilance Commission. — PTI
00:11 Trump cancels trip to Davos amid standoff over shutdown:
US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter he will not be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is likely to lead the Trump administration’s delegation to the forum in Davos even if the government remains closed when the conference starts later this month, according to senior administration officials.
However, Mnuchin will likely lead a smaller-than-expected group of administration officials to Switzerland if a large chunk of the government remains closed, the officials said, declining to be identified. The forum is scheduled for January 22 to 25.
Trump told reporters Thursday he planned to go to Davos but would stay home if the shutdown continued