In a mid-night dramatic development, the central government waded into the ongoing tussle between two top officials of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by divesting the agency’s director, Alok Verma of his charge. It also issued an order saying that M Nageshwar Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha cadre officer and Joint Director at CBI shall take over the duties and functions of CBI Director with immediate effect.
There are reports that Rao had visited the CBI Headquarters this morning to take charge. The decision is being seen as a direct intervention by the Prime Minister’s Office.It was also reported that raids were conducted at the CBI Headquarters in New Delhi and the office was sealed and outsiders were not allowed inside. The 10th and 11th floor of the CBI building are being searched. The offices of both Verma and Asthana have also been sealed.
The decision comes a day after high-voltage drama in the Delhi High Court, where CBI no. 2 Asthana told court that his boss Alok Verma was trying to frame him. However, the investigation agency alleged that Asthana was running an extortion racket.
Both Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana have been sent on leave by the government. The moves comes after the the Central Vigilance Commission passed an order seeking removal of all powers of both Verma and Asthana.