Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma was sacked after a two-hour-long meeting of the Selection Committee. The high-power committee meet took place at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence on Thursday. CJI nominee Justice A.K. Sikri of the Supreme Court and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, along with PM Modi, are part of the committee. Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer was removed from the post after a 2-1 decision with Justice Sikri siding with the government.
Verma, whose tenure is to end this month-end, has now been appointed Director General, Fire Service. Kharge opposed the move to sack Verma and gave a six-page dissent note during the meeting and instead asked the panel to compensate him by granting him 77 more days in office as the agency's chief.
According to sources, Kharge said during the meeting that Verma, who was sent on forced leave, should not be penalised and be given an extension of 77 days for which he was not allowed to attend the office. "It would be grossly unfair not to restore Alok Verma to the full extent of the authority enjoyed by the office of the Director CBI and compensate him by extending his term appropriately to accommodate for the loss of 77 days caused by the illegal orders of the CVC and DoPT on October 23, 2018," he said in his dissent note.
"It is clear that in the case of criminal charges, the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt. In the four cases where the CVC returns unflattering conclusions, even they admit that there is no proof of any pecuniary benefit, no unimpeachable evidence corroborating the story and the conclusion is arrived at on the basis of circumstantial evidence," he said in his letter to the panel.
Alleging Verma was deprived of his powers wrongfully, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha demanded the restoration of his full tenure and powers.
"There can be no alternative but to restore unto Alok Verma the full range of authority enjoyed by the office of the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), so as to ensure the independence and neutrality of the CBI," Kharge said.
During the meeting, Justice Sikri said there are charges against Verma to which Kharge asked "where are the charges", according to the sources.