In a quick turn of events, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Selection Committee removed Alok Verma as CBI chief on Thursday. The decision came just 48 hours after the Supreme Court reinstating Verma as the head of the probe agency. Last on Thursday, Verma finally broke silence over his unceremonious exit and said that the decision has been taken on ‘false allegations.’ In a statement issued late on Thursday, Verma spoke about ‘independence’ of the CBI. “It (CBI) must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside,” Verma said.
Calling the Thursday decision as ‘sad’, Verma said that he was transferred to another post pursuant to the orders of the committee on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to him.”
During the high-power committee meeting, while senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that Verma should be given the extension of 77 days, the majority opined otherwise. Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer was removed from the post after a 2-1 decision with Justice Sikri siding with the Narendra Modi government.
The CVC report on the basis of which the decision of the removal was taken had found evidence against Verma of influencing investigation in the controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi case. There was also evidence of Verma taking a bribe of Rs 2 crore to give relief to Qureshi - a millionaire meat exporter from Kanpur, who faces multiple investigations, ranging from tax evasion to money laundering and corruption. “The CVC said Alok Verma's conduct in the case is suspicious, and there is a prima facie case against him,” sources privy of the development were quoted as saying.
The CVC report claimed that the CBI team looking into the case wanted to make Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana an accused in the case but Verma never gave clearance to special director Rakesh Asthana, who was leading the investigation. Asthana along with Verma was sent on forced leave on October 23.