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    CBI reshuffle: Here is what experts have to say

    politics | IST

    CBI reshuffle: Here is what experts have to say

    Shortly after assuming charge of CBI, joint director M Nageshwar Rao constituted a new team to probe bribery allegation against its special director Rakesh Asthana, who has been at war with sidelined director Alok Verma.
    The agency's move came after the centre virtually sacked CBI director Alok Verma by asking him to go on leave, and the agency transferred as many as 13 of its officers, shunting out almost all those in Verma's team which was probing bribery charges against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
    Hours after the government stripped him of his powers, Verma on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the centre's decision and suggesting that the government may not be in agreement with the course of CBI probe into cases relating to some "high functionaries".
    In his petition, he contended that the action against him was "patently illegal and unconstitutional" and sought quashing of the order.
    The official statement said the action against Verma and Asthana was taken on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission, which met on Tuesday evening and divested the two officials of their functions and powers in respect of cases already registered and/or required to be probed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. It said grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI against one another has vitiated the official ecosystem of the organisation.
    AK Mathur, retired judge of Supreme Court, Shantanu Sen, former joint director of CBI, Vikram Singh, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, Jaiveer Shergill, Congress spokesperson, Sudesh Verma, BJP spokesperson and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress leader discussed the implications of these developments.
    Sudesh Verma, BJP spokesperson, said the whole point is it was an unprecedented crisis, it was not an ordinary situation.
    "The government and CVC cannot sit idle. CVC has the supervisory power over the CBI in corruption cases. They (officers) have been kept out because such serious allegations came and we have to do something to restore the credibility,” Verma said.
    Jaiveer Shergill, spokesperson, Congress said it is evident that the BJP has butchered the independence, impartiality and integrity of the CBI director’s office.
    "The Prime Minister has sent a clear message to all investigative agencies - it is my way or the highway," Shergill said.
    Shantanu Sen, former joint director, CBI, said this is just a beginning of action on the recommendation of the CVC and the CBI is under it.
    "The government has no control over the CBI, it is the CVC," he said.
    Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress leader, said the move was in gross violation of the Lokpal Act that governs the appointment of CBI directors as per a Supreme Court verdict.
    "The defacto removal of Verma was in gross violation of laws and procedures. There is too much at stake for this government to cover up. All this is a result of the Modi government's Rafale-mania," said Singhvi.
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