Among four cases against CBI ex-chief, omitting officer’s name in FIR, Rs 2-crore bribe

Rahul Tripathi
Another allegation by Asthana against Verma, which the CVC examined, relates to the IRCTC scam involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi and son and former deputy CM Tejashwi.

Out of 10 allegations of serious misconduct, interference in investigation, and corruption against ousted CBI chief Alok Verma, four were found to be substantiated, as per findings of the Central Vigilance Commission's (CVC) report.

Details of the findings were recorded by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge in his dissent note on Thursday.

The CVC started probing the 10 allegations based on a complaint by CBI special director Rakesh Asthana on September 10, 2018. Asthana had filed a complaint before the Cabinet Secretary last year, which was sent to the CVC for examination.

Among allegations found to be "substantiated" by CVC and required a "detailed investigations, including criminal probe", is the charges of accepting Rs 2 crore bribe in Moin Qureshi case. It was alleged that businessman Sathish Babu Sana paid Verma Rs 2 crore to get a clean chit in the case. In its "findings", CVC recorded that there was "no evidence of payment of bribe, further investigations required for verifying circumstantial evidence".

Asthana claimed that the team under him had opened a lookout circular against Sana, and that the preemptive action had foiled the businessman's attempt to flee abroad.

Another allegation by Asthana against Verma, which the CVC examined, relates to the IRCTC scam involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi and son and former deputy CM Tejashwi. Asthana alleged that Verma had asked him to call off planned raids against Lalu in Patna last year at the eleventh hour when raiding teams were already in place.

He also alleged that the name of a senior Railways official, Rakesh Saksena, was omitted from the FIR in the IRCTC case.

The CVC found that the allegation about calling off the raids was "not substantiated", while on the charge of excluding Rakesh Saksena's name from FIR, the CVC probe said, "Allegation substantiated, amounts to serious misconduct and warrants disciplinary and other actions."

Verma had claimed that the suspect in IRCTC scam was chargesheeted by the agency at a later stage.

The third charge where CVC said the allegations are found to be "correct" relates to CBI joint director (JD) Rajiv Singh, who was repatriated to his parent cadre last year. As per Asthana's complaint, a case of bank fraud was registered by CBI on March 31, 2016, on a written complaint from Allahabad Bank, alleging that some people had availed loans on the basis of forged documents.

According to the complaint, the firm belonged to Sanjay Singh, brother of the CBI JD, and that Rajiv Singh interfered with the raids to protect his brother. He is alleged to have made repeated calls to the supervisory joint director of Patna zone.

Asthana alleged that searches led to recovery of documents, which showed that Singh himself was the guarantor of the bank loan taken fraudulently, and that despite this evidence on record, no action was taken against Sanjay Singh. "To protect Rajiv Singh and his brother, the file was kept pending for more than 10 months by JD, Patna, Bhanu Bhaskar," Asthana alleged.

According to Congress leader Kharge's dissent note submitted before the high-powered committee, CVC's investigations found allegations that Verma tried to induct tainted officers in CBI. CVC findings said "allegations found to be substantiated". It relates to induction of IPS officer from UT cadre R P Upadhayay and UP cadre Rajeev Krishna, among others.

Asthana, in his complaint, alleged that there were reports in CBI against Upadhaya and Krishna but Verma tried to overrule these reports and induct them into CBI.