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Modi-led panel fires CBI director: Media
By Resmi Sivaram January 11, 2019
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NEW DELHI: India’s federal police chief was ousted on Thursday by a panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TV channels reported, a day after he took up his post again after being reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Official sources earlier said Modi is keen that Central Alok Nath Verma should go as the panel went into a second session to decide on Verma’s status.

The Supreme Court had ordered Verma’s reinstatement on Monday but clipped his decision-making powers. The court also asked the high-powered panel that selects the CBI chief to look at a probe report against him and decide if he could stay with full powers until his retirement that is due on Jan.31.

The panel sat on Wednesday, with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice AK Sikri attending. Sikri was deputed by the chief justice who is the regular member of the panel.

No decision was reached and the meeting was put off to Thursday. “I have asked for certain documents from the government concerning the matter including the CVC’s enquiry reports,” Kharge said.

Kharge had asked the government to defer the meeting by two days since he had been busy with the Lok Sabha proceedings and hadn’t studied the Supreme Court’s order on Alok Verma. In his letter, he had asked for the meeting to be held on Jan.11, giving him enough time to study the judgment. He said that he would be able to put forth his party’s point of view only after studying the judgment.

Verma, meanwhile, transferred five officials and cancelled the transfers of nearly 10 officers effected by interim chief M. Nageswara Rao.

Verma had taken on the government after he was, past midnight on Oct.23, ordered him and his deputy Rakesh Asthana to go on leave.

Instead, the government brought in M. Nageshwar Rao as an acting director who sent out officials seen to have Verma’s trust. Many of them challenged their transfer orders in the Delhi High Court, which has reserved its verdict.

Verma, a day after returning to his post, shifted out Joint Director Ajay Bhatnagar, Deputy Inspector General MK Sinha, Deputy Inspector General Tarun Gauba, Joint Director Murugesan and Additional Director AK Sharma.

MK Sinha was given charge of banking, securities and frauds cell, and AC-III unit, which is probing a corruption case against Verma’s archrival Rakesh Asthana. Sinha recused himself from the investigation on Thursday.

Sinha was transferred to Nagpur a day after Rao took charge on Oct.23, 2018.

Suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar, a co-accused in the Asthana bribery case, has approached the Delhi High Court against Verma’s decision to annul the transfers.
 

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