NEW DELHI — Ousted CBI director Alok Verma is likely to face departmental action for defying a government order asking him to join as chief of Fire Services on Thursday, the day of his superannuation, and this may include suspension of pensionary benefits, officials said.
According to the officials, this non-compliance of the directive amounted to violation of service rules for all India services officers.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had directed Verma to take charge as director general of the Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards on Thursday.
As Verma did not take up the new assignment as directed, he is likely to face departmental action which may include suspension of pensionary benefits, MHA officials said.
In a letter sent to Verma Wednesday, the MHA said, “You are directed to join the post of DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards immediately.”
In response to the letter the same day, Verma reiterated his position that he stands superannuated from the post of Director, CBI from January 10, 2019 evening.
In his response to R S Vaidya, Deputy Secretary in the home ministry, Verma said his date of birth from the official records is July 14, 1957 which implies that date of superannuation was July 31, 2017.
“The undersigned has already crossed the age of 61 years and continued to serve even after his superannuation date as Director, CBI which is a tenure post for a period of two years,” Verma wrote in a letter accessed by PTI.
He said since he ceased to be director of CBI from the evening of January 10, 2019 and has already crossed 60 years, he stands superannuated from the post of Director, CBI with effect from the evening of January 10, 2019.
The communication from the MHA Wednesday was seen as a rejection of his plea in a letter to Secretary, Department of Personnel, earlier this month in which he said he should be deemed to have retired from service on July 31, 2017, the day he completed 60 years.
Verma had contended that he had crossed the superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and he wanted to be treated as having superannuated from the day he was moved out of the CBI.
He said that he “was only serving the government as CBI director until January 31, 2019 as it was a fixed tenure role”. The tenure of CBI director is fixed for two years.
Verma, a former Delhi Police Commissioner, was first moved out of the CBI by the government in a midnight order on October 23 last year on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) but was reinstated by the Supreme Court on January 9.
After the Supreme Court order, a high-powered panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 2:1 decision removed Verma and asked him to join the residual term of the CBI director as DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
The prime minister and Justice A K Sikri, the nominee of Chief Justice of India, favoured removal of Verma while the third member of the committee ― leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge ― opposed the move.