Published: Thu, October 25, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Rakesh Asthana stymied Investigation in sensitive cases, Alok Verma tells Supreme Court

Rakesh Asthana stymied Investigation in sensitive cases, Alok Verma tells Supreme Court

The new acting director M Nageshwar Rao had ordered the search of the offices of the CBI in a bid to collect and secure evidence.

- Section 4A and 4B provides for a High powered committee of the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India for the goal of appointment/transfer of CBI Director. "The CBI was going to start an inquiry and therefore the prime minister got scared and removed the CBI chief at 1 am in the night", he alleged. Verma handed over a confidential letter to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) over Asthana's promotion to the post of CBI special director, claiming the latter was under investigation in the 2017 Sterling Biotech bribery case. Many of these concerned very sensitive cases including those monitored by the Supreme Court, the petition states.

The case comes hot on the heels of a raging controversy over the Rafale deal in which the public sector undertaking HAL was allegedly sidelined by the Narendra Modi government in a renegotiated Rs 60,000 crore deal in favour of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence Limited.

The court issued a stay on any action by the CBI against Asthana till 29 October.

After a spell of the internal fighting in the premier investigating agency, the Centre divested Verma and Asthana from their roles and asked them to go on leave. Both were probing the case against Asthana.

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The Central government appointed a Telugu IPS officer as the new Director of prestigious Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Verma had on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court against the government decision to remove him saying it was done without following the due procedure. The presence of their men outside the directors house is likely to generate a political storm as opposition political parties are watching the developments closely and accusing the government of interference in the law enforcement agencies.

The plea has also sought a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the corruption allegations against the other officials of the CBI.

On Monday, the CBI arrested Asthana's aide, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, in connection with the case.

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