10/01/2019 7:41 AM IST

CBI Director Alok Verma Revokes Transfers Effected By Interim Chief In His Absence

Verma resumed duties Wednesday and revoked almost all transfers affected by Rao, an official said on condition of anonymity.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
CBI Director Alok Verma resumed office on 9 January 2019.

NEW DELHI — CBI Director Alok Verma revoked most of the transfers effected by then Director (in-charge) M Nageshwar Rao as he resumed duties on Wednesday, 77 days after he was sent on forced leave through a government order which was set aside by the Supreme Court, officials privy to the development said.

Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, was given the duties and functions of CBI director late night on October 23, 2018 after Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were divested of all powers by the government following a spat between them.

The next morning, Rao had effected a large number of transfers, including of officials probing a corruption case against Asthana like DSP A K Bassi, DIG M K Sinha and Joint Director A K Sharma, the officials said.

Verma resumed duties Wednesday and revoked almost all transfers affected by Rao, an official said on condition of anonymity.

PM Modi-led panel meets to decide on Alok Verma

A selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Wednesday to decide on the fate of CBI Director Alok Verma, reinstated by a Supreme Court order after he was sent on forced leave by the government over two months ago, officials said.

The outcome of the meeting, which took place at the prime minister’s residence at Lok Kalyan Marg, was not immediately known, they said.

There was no official confirmation on the meeting from the government.

The committee will meet again soon, the officials said without giving further details.

The PM-headed panel comprises the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or a Supreme Court judge, and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as members, the rules say.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi had reportedly nominated Supreme Court judge Justice A K Sikri to attend the meet.

Gogoi was part of the bench that gave the verdict on Tuesday which reinstated Verma as the CBI Director.

There’s no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha because no opposition party had managed to get mandatory 10 per cent seats out of the total membership. 

Mallikarjun Kharge is the Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha.

The top court had asked the government to convene the meeting within a week of its order.

The apex court had quashed the government’s unprecedented “overnight” order issued in October last, stripping him of his powers and sending him on leave after he and his deputy Rakesh Asthana traded corruption charges sparking a bitter feud.

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 had challenged his ouster from the CBI in the apex court.

Asthana has also 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.