Six of 10 charges against ousted CBI chief Alok Verma were unsubstantiated and 4 needed further investigation, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had argued.
New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is part of the selection committee which was formed to decide the fate of CBI director Alok Verma, Thursday opposed his removal and questioned the rationale behind it.
The CBI chief and his deputy, special director Rakesh Asthana, had been sent on forced leave more than two months ago after they accused each other of corruption. The Supreme Court had Tuesday reinstated Verma as CBI director, but curtailed his powers.
The selection committee comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Kharge and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Gogoi removed himself from the panel — and nominated Justice A.K. Sikri in his place — as he was a member of the Supreme Court bench that reinstated Verma as CBI director Tuesday.
Also read: This is how Mallikarjun Kharge defended CBI director Alok Verma at selection panel meet
Kharge was learnt to have submitted to the committee that six out of the 10 charges against Verma were unsubstantiated and four needed further investigation.
Kharge demanded that full powers be restored to Verma and a high-powered committee be constituted to look into the circumstances on the night of 23-24 October when he was removed.
According to sources, Kharge questioned the report of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), saying that the commission’s role was under suspicion and even the Supreme Court had overturned the decision to remove Verma.
The Congress leader demanded an independent investigation, saying that Verma was not given the chance to give clarification on the charges.
Anand Sharma slams Centre too
Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the central government wanted to make Verma ineffective in order to hide its wrongdoings and was in a “tearing hurry” to replace him.
“The government is brazening it out, the Prime Minister is arrogant, he will never apologise for wrong deeds, he thinks he is not accountable either to the Parliament or to the law of the land,” Sharma said.
“But after that, why is there panic in the government? What is the Prime Minister worried about? What is that he does not want the CBI to look into?” he asked.
“There is something, the manner of removal, midnight raids, change of security agency from the CISF to the Delhi Police, the CVC personally going there at midnight that has to be investigated,” Sharma said while addressing the media.
Also read: In Supreme Court’s Alok Verma judgment, a resounding call for CBI’s freedom
Kharge, representing Congress, objected vehemently when the panel selected Verma in the first place. Now, he is objecting to Verma’s “Transfer”. He fails to note that even if the charges of the CVC against Verma are NOT YET substantiated, a person carrying such serious allegations against him, from such a high body as the CVC, cannot hold the post of the CBI’s Director. The CVC has put all this in writing, and this is not like some vague, anonymous complaint. UNTIL the charges are cleared or confirmed, there is no way Mr Verma can hold the post of Director CBI. The Government is right and is also fully supported by the Supreme Court Judge in the panel. Is Kharge implying that the Judge is also biased and is hence supporting the government? They are just making noises to justify their own assumptions and innuendos against Modi.
Pronouncing someone guilty on unsubstantiated charges is bad enough. It reeks of vendetta and lawless thinking. But to do so at lightning speed also reeks of fear and paranoia! What is Mr Modi so apprehensive about that Alok Verma might have done if he had stayed on even for a day more?
Why did the nominee of the CJI agree with the removal? Was there true merit in his removal for nominee to approve the removal?
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