CBI officer AK Bassi, who was investigating Special Director Rakesh Asthana in the bribery allegations against him, claimed that he could cite evidence which could ‘implicate’ Asthana. He also moved Supreme Court on Tuesday, 30 October to challenge his transfer. Bassi sought an urgent heraing of his plea on 2 November.
The apex court also directed the police to provide adequate security to businessman Satish Sana, the complainant against Asthana.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the CBI to maintain status quo till November 1 on proceedings against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who was sent on leave by the government. CBI has lodged FIR against Asthana and Kumar in connection with bribery allegations.
The high court also directed the CBI to file reply on the two pleas on or before 1 November.
Catch all the legal updates in the unfolding CBI infighting crisis here.
- The CBI handed over all the documents required in the enquiry against Alok Verma to the CVC on Monday
- SC had directed CVC to probe allegations against Alok Verma within two weeks
- M Nageshwar Rao will remain interim CBI director, but can’t take policy decisions: SC order
- Centre had sent Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on leave amid controversy over CBI infighting
Have Evidence to Implicate Asthana: CBI Officer Bassi
CBI officer Ajay Bassi, who was investigating the allegations against Rakesh Asthana, on Tuesday, 30 October, claimed that he could cite evidence with the CBI which could ‘implicate’ Asthana.
To this end, he produced details of phone taps conducted by the agency and said that the court should order the CBI to produce the whole bunch of phone records, that the probing agency had gathered during its surveillance, in a sealed envelope, Hindustan Times reported.
After SC Prod, CVC Starts Examining CBI Officials
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Tuesday, 30 October, examined some CBI officials probing crucial cases which figured in Special Director Rakesh Asthana's complaint of corruption against the probe agency's chief Alok Verma, officials said.
Officials from the rank of inspector up to superintendent of police of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were called and their versions were recorded before a senior official of the CVC, they said.
Nageshwar Rao Denies Allegations Against Him
Interim CBI Director Nageshwar Rao has denied all allegations against him also says all his assets have been submitted in the Annual Property Returns.
Patiala House Court Sends DSP Devendra Kumar to Judicial Custody
Delhi's Patiala House Court on Tuesday, 30 October, sent CBI DSP Devender Kumar and Manoj Prasad to judicial custody for 14 days.
The Court will hear the bail application of CBI DSP Devender Kumar on Wednesday, 31 October.
SC Orders Protection to Asthana's Complainant
SC directs police to provide adequate security to businessman Satish Sana, complainant in alleged bribery case against Rakesh Asthana.
CBI Officer AK Bassi Moves SC Challenging Transfer
CBI officer AK Bassi, who was investigating Special Director Rakesh Asthana, moves Supreme Court to challenge his transfer. SC refuses urgent hearing.
M Nageshwar Rao Had Alleged Bias from Odisha Cadre in the Past
M Nageshwar Rao, had written to the Union Home Secretary this August alleging bias and “hostility” of the government-appointed Expert Committee meant to review officers during the empanelment process that was considering him for the rank of Director General (DG), The Indian Express reported.
Rao had alleged he was a victim of “skulduggery” of IPS officers of Odisha cadre which is “highly divided with incessant internecine fights”, and thus “feedback from IPS officers of Odisha may kindly be taken not with a pinch of salt but a ladle of salt” by the government while considering him for empanelment for DG.
Nageshwar Rao Accused of Communal Speech
According to a PIL that was filed against Nageshwar Rao in 1999, he had been accused of propagating communal speech at a public event, during his time as Vice Chairman of the Behrampore Development Authority.
The PIL had been filed in the Odisha High Court, by CPM leader Ali Kishore Patnaik, back then.
The petition claimed that Rao had allegedly said that: "Islamists, Christians and Marxists are the main threat to human rights". He had also allegedly said that those who framed the Indian Constitution were "pro-minority".
Central Agencies Like CBI Need to Come Under Lokpal: Hazare
Referring to the crisis within the CBI, social activist Anna Hazare on Monday, 29 October, said that central agencies like it need to come under the Lokpal, so that they can be free from political interference.
Vaghela Taunts Modi on Statue of Unity, Asks Him to First Unite CBI
Former Gujarat Chief Minister and expelled rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Monday, 29 October, mocked at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his ambitious Sardar Patel's "Statue of Unity" project dubbing it a "marketing gimmick" and asked him to first unite the CBI and the RBI.
The Prime Minister is slated to unveil 182-metre tallest statue in the world, Statue of Unity' (SoU), at Kevadia in Narmada district on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on Wednesday.
“When the internal fighting among the top brass of leading institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has emerged into the public, the Prime Minister should deal with this crisis first and then speak of unity”, Vaghela said.
Holding CBI Hostage Disastrous for Nation: Pawar
Charging the Modi government with holding the premier investigating agency CBI as 'hostage', Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said in Pune on Monday, 29 October, that this could have disastrous consequences for the country.
Terming the Central Bureau of Investigation as an independent body for carrying out impartial probes, Pawar said that shunting out its top officials at the dead of the night portends ill for the nation.
CBI DSP Devender Kumar Moves Bail Application before Delhi Court
CBI DSP Devender Kumar, who was arrested in the bribery case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, has moved his bail application before a Delhi court, news agency PTI reported.
Delhi HC Extends Protection to Asthana
The Delhi HC extended protection from arrest to CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana From Arrest For CBI's Rakesh Asthana till 1 November, adding that status quo had to maintained in the proceedings against him.
Delhi HC Grants CBI More Time To Reply to Pleas of Asthana, Devendra Kumar
The Delhi High Court continued its order to maintain status quo till 1 November and granted CBI more time to reply to the pleas of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar.
The CBI had sought more time saying that the entire team had been changed and case files are before CVC who is looking into allegations.
M Nageshwar Rao's Wife Gave Rs 1.14 Crore to a firm: ROC
Records maintained by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) point to a series of financial transactions between interim chief M Nageshwar Rao Rao’s wife and Angela Mercantiles Private Ltd (AMPL), a Kolkata-based trading company, from financial years ending 2011 to 2014, The Indian Express (IE) reported.
According to IE, RoC records show that Rao’s wife, M Sandhya, borrowed Rs 25 lakh from AMPL in the financial year ending March 2011. They show that between financial years ending 2012 and 2014, Sandhya gave loans amounting to Rs 1.14 crore to AMPL. The payments were made in three tranches — Rs 35.56 lakh in FY’12, Rs 38.27 lakh in FY’13 and Rs 40.29 lakh in FY’14.
While the government has appointed to take over “the duties and functions of Director, CBI”,
Businessman Who Filed Complaint Against Asthana Seeks Protection
The complainant, Sathish Sana, the businessman who filed the complaint against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking protection. He was also summoned by the CBI on Monday.
CBI To handover Documents to CVC
The CBI will on Monday, 29 October, hand over to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) all files and documents required to inquire into allegations levelled against the agency’s director Alok Verma by his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
Congress Workers in TN, Puducherry, J&K Hold Protests
Protests in TN and Puducherry:
Earlier on Friday, 26 OCtober, Congress workers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry staged demonstrations in front of central government offices, as part of nation-wide protest called by the party chief Rahul Gandhi against CBI Director Alok Verma being divested of powers.
The cadres carried placards and shouted slogans denouncing the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Addressing protesters near Shastri Bhavan in Chennai where the CBI zonal office is located, TNCC President Su Thirunavukkarasar repeated Gandhi's accusations and said the Centre intended to remove the central agency's director to 'disrupt' probe into the Rafale deal.
Protests in J&K:
Congress workers led by former minister and vice president of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee, Raman Bhalla, also held protests in the state, outside Shahidi Chowk and marched towards Raghunath Bazar carrying placards denouncing Centre's "undue interference into the independence of the CBI".
Several prominent leaders like Ravinder Sharma, Manmohan Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Udey Bhanu Chib were part of the protest.
Together we will fight till the PM’s corruption has been stopped: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said that the the fight will continue till ‘PM’s corruption stops’.
“To the thousands of Indians who came out onto the streets today to say NO to corruption, NO to stopping the CBI from investigating Rafale and NO to injustice: everyday we will be joined by thousands more. Together we will fight till the PM’s corruption has been stopped”, his tweet tread.
Environment in Country's Institutions Like CBI Is Being Vitiated: Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh commenting on the case said that ‘environment in country's institutions like CBI is being vitiated’. He also said that ‘in the past 4 years, Modiji and his govt have failed the electorate and eroded voters' faith’.
8 Leaders and 150 Workers Were Detained for 20 Minutes
Eight leaders and 150 workers were detained for 20 minutes and then released, confirmed Vijay Kumar, DCP South.
PM can run, he can hide but in the end, truth will be revealed: Rahul Gandhi
PM can run, he can hide but in the end, truth will be revealed. Removing CBI Director will not help. PM acted against CBI Director; it was an act out of panic: Congress President Rahul Gandhi after leaving Lodhi Colony police station in Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi Reaches Lodhi Colony Police Station
Congress President Rahul Gandhi Detained by Cops During March to CBI HQ
He is heading to the Lodhi Colony police station accompanied by Ashok Gehlot, Pramod Tiwari and Ahmed Patel to court arrest
Supreme Court has further strengthened the fairness criteria today: Arun Jaitley
The government has no interest for or against any individual, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on the ongoing CBI controversy.
Today the Supreme Court has further strengthened the fairness criteria by fixing a time limit and in order to ensure that highest standard of fairness is maintained even during the inquiry, they have appointed a retired judge, said Jaitley adding that recent developments had tainted the image of the CBI, Jaitley said.
CBI Row: Unfolding at SC is a Crisis of Faith in Our Institutions
Legal commentator Alok Prasanna Kumar writes:
The quiet, internecine war going on between the top officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has burst out into the open in a dramatic fashion this week. The government’s order directing that Alok Verma, Director of the CBI and RK Asthana, Special Director, CBI, both go on forced leave has not satisfied anyone. Inevitably, the matter has landed in the courts – Verma filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the government’s move to divest him of his duties, and has been duly followed by RK Asthana.
The obvious questions arise – if Alok Verma was justified in proceeding against RK Asthana why has he been divested of his powers? If he wasn’t, why has RK Asthana been acted against?
Read more of his piece on the ongoing CBI crisis here
Rahul Gandhi Leads Protest to CBI HQ; But Stopped by Barricades
"Narendra Modi and the BJP are attacking each institution in the country including CBI. Congress chaukidar ko chori nahi karne denge (Congress won’t allow the gatekeeper to loot)" - Rahul Gandhi, Congress chief
Police use water cannon at protesting Congress workers in Chandigarh
Rahul Gandhi Arrives to Lead Protest March from Dyal Singh College to CBI HQ
Congress and CPI Leaders Gather Outside CBI HQ
Congress's Anand Sharma, CPI's D Raja and Sharad Yadav outside Dyal Singh College, ahead of the protest march to CBI HQ against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Protests Take Off Outside CBI Office in Lucknow
Congress workers hold a protest outside the CBI office in Lucknow against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Cong Tweets "A Tale of Two Dismissals" Ahead of Their Nationwide Protest
CJI Ranjan Gogoi Directs CVC to Complete Enquiry in Two Weeks
Supreme Court orders that:
- The inquiry by the CVC to be conducted within two weeks, to be headed by a sitting or retired judge.
- While it happens, Nageshwar Rao not to take any policy decisions.
- Govt to submit list of all decisions taken to SC.
For all other legal updates in this case, follow this live blog
Protests Outside the CBI Office in Patna
Congress workers hold a protest outside the CBI office in Patna against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Cong Workers Start Protest Outside CBI Office in Bengaluru
Congress workers hold a protest outside the CBI office in Bengaluru against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Security Tightened Ahead of Cong Protest at CBI HQ
Security tightened and barricading outside CBI headquarters ahead of Congress protest against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
TMC MP Nadeem Ul Haq to Join Congress Protest at CBI HQ
TMC MP Nadeem Ul Haq will join the Congress protest led by Rahul Gandhi at Central Bureau of Investigation HQ against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Congress Activists Stage Protest at CBI Office in Kolkata
Congress activists are staging a protest at the CBI office in Kolkata against sending CBI director Alok Verma on leave.
Security Forces Deployed Outside CBI Office in Lucknow
Security forces have been deployed outside the CBI office in Lucknow ahead of Congress protest against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Trinamool Congress to Join Congress Protest Outside CBI Headquarters
Trinamool Congress will be joining the Congress party protest led by Rahul Gandhi that will take place at Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters on Friday against the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma.
Waiting on CBI Report on Secret Note Alleging Against Asthana: CVC
The Central Vigilance Commission has said it is still awaiting an action taken report from the CBI on a "secret note" carrying allegations against Rakesh Asthana which it had received during a selection committee meeting last year to consider his elevation as Special Director of the investigation agency.
Kharge Demands Answers From Modi on Action Against Verma
Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the action against CBI director Alok Verma without consulting other members of the panel that selected him.
In a strongly-worded letter to the prime minister, Kharge accused him of acting "arbitrarily" and creating a "false equivalence of charges" between the CBI director and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
Meanwhile, the leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, on Thursday, 25 October, accused the NDA government at the Centre of indulging in systematic demolition of important national institutions, including the CBI and said that Verma should be reinstated as CBI Chief.
Saikia, in a statement, alleged that the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma was "illegal and unconstitutional" and motivated by the Centre's "fear of the Rafale deal".
Central Vigilance Commission Well Within Rights to Probe Verma: Ex-CVC Officials
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is well within its rights to probe allegations against a CBI director, who is bound by conduct rules for All India services, former senior officers of the agency opined on Thursday.
The ex-officers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they felt that any comments from them will be seen as taking sides, said when it comes to allegations of corruption, the Commission can carry out inquiry against All India service officers.
Will Lead Congress Protest at CBI HQ on Friday: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that Congress will hold protests outside CBI offices nationwide on Friday, 26 October.
Meanwhile, the Congress president said that he will lead the protests outside the CBI Headquarters in Delhi, at 11 AM on Friday.
Tomorrow, outside CBI offices nationwide, the Congress party will protest the PM’s disgraceful attempt to prevent an investigation into the Rafale scam, by removing the CBI Chief.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 25, 2018
I will lead the protests outside CBI HQ in Delhi, at 11 AM. #CBIRafaleGate
Speaking at a press conference, the Congress President said that the day the CBI proceedings begin, Prime Minister Modi should be aware that the truth will come out.
PM जी ने देश को बोला कि मैं देश का चौकीदार हूं - इमेज उनकी चौकीदार की थी।— AICC Communications (@AICCMedia) October 25, 2018
अब PM जी ने राफेल मामले मे भ्रष्टाचार किया है,पूरा देश जानता है और सिर्फ राफेल में नही है, PM को मालूम है जिस दिन CBI की कार्यवाही शुरु हो गई,उस दिन PM बच नहीं पाएंगे।
-कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष श्री @RahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/GqSbY1Ozio
Reports Claiming Rafale File Was Under Verma's Consideration 'False': CBI
The CBI on Thursday rejected reports that files related to several crucial cases, including that of the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, was under the consideration of its Director Alok Verma when he was divested of his powers by the Centre.
A news report claimed on Thursday that several crucial files, including the one related to the Rafale fighter jet deal, was under the consideration of Verma when the Centre in a mid-night order divested him of his powers.
“This is being manufactured by vested interests. Every file in the CBI at each level is accounted for,” CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.
Very Concerned About Developments in CBI: Shashi Tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday expressed concern over the latest developments in the CBI and called for an independent probe into the alleged Rafale fighter aircraft scam.
“We are very concerned about it (developments in the CBI),” Tharoor told reporters after attending The Economist India Summit 2018 in Mumbai.
Further terming the NDA government's Rafale fighter jet deal as "one of the worst scams in independent India", Tharoor said, "Therefore, an independent enquiry is necessary."
Bengal Congress Protests Outside CBI Office in Kolkata
The West Bengal Congress on Thursday staged a demonstration outside the CBI office in Kolkata to protest against the virtual removal of the agency's Director Alok Verma.
Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra accused the Centre of conspiring against the investigating agency's chief and said that the credibility of the Central Bureau of Investigation had taken a beating.
SC to Hear Plea Challenging CBI Director's Ouster on Friday
A Supreme Court’s bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will on Friday hear pleas filed by CBI director Alok Verma and an NGO against the government’s order sending him on leave and relieving him of charge as CBI Director, ANI reported.
CBI Director's Removal an Insult to Constitution, People of India: Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the appointment and removal of the CBI director is done by a committee of three people – the PM, the CJI and Leader of Opposition.
He then went on to question why Director Alok Verma was removed at 2 am at night.
"“This is an Insult to the Constitution, an insult to the CJI and to the people of India. It is illegal and criminal.”" - Rahul Gandhi, Congress President
He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction (of removing Verma) was in a state of panic. “He is scared that he indulged in corruption and that he could get caught,” Gandhi said.
Verma to Remain CBI Director, Asthana Special Director: CBI Spokesperson
Alok Verma will remain the CBI director while Rakesh Asthana will continue as the special director, CBI’s official spokesperson said on Thursday, ANI reported.
M Nageshwar Rao will look after duties and functions of the CBI director in the interim period till the time CVC looks into the allegations against him, the spokesperson said.
"“We are conscious of the fact that any fall in credibility and image of the agency has the potential to impact the important cases we are fighting internationally. Whatever we are doing is to ensure that credibility of the agency does not suffer.”" - CBI spokesperson
Delhi Court Extends Manoj Prasad's Custody
Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday extended by five days the CBI custody of Manoj Prasad, the Dubai based investment banker who is accused of taking a bribe.
He was arrested on 17 October by CBI in relation to the case against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Verma Was Doing a 'Good Job', Urge PM to Reconsider Action Against Him: Swamy
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said that CBI Director Alok Verma is an "upright officer" who was doing a "good job" to check corruption and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider action taken against him.
Swamy said he has full faith in the prime minister but claimed that those "around him" are trying to "harm the interests" of Modi as well as the BJP.
Routine Presence of Our Officials Portrayed in Unfortunate Manner: IB
Intelligence Bureau sources said that its officials are regularly deployed in high security areas to collect intel data, in a bid to explain why four of its sleuths were detained outside CBI Director Alok Verma’s house early on Thursday.
"“The IB is entrusted with the responsibility of collecting intelligence on situations that may affect, inter alia, public order and internal security. Its units are routinely deployed on a regular basis in sensitive areas.”" - IB said in a statement.
"One such unit, in early hours of today (Thursday), halted on Janpath, where there was an unusual collection of people. Unfortunately, their presence was projected otherwise," the statement said.
Rubbish to Dub CBI Director's Actions as Infighting: Swamy
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said that it was rubbish to call the actions of CBI Director Alok Verma as infighting.
"“For the past three years, the infiltration of corrupt Congress touts have polluted CBI to protect PC (P Chidambaram) and other Congi (Congress) chors (thiefs). In our own ranks, we have traitors helping. Hence, Director Verma had done the right thing.”" - Subramanian Swamy, BJP MP, on Twitter
'Spy and Snoop in India' is Modi's Only Successful Scheme: Tejashwi Yadav
Leader of Opposition in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav, on Thursday attacked the BJP government amid the CBI row. He tweeted saying that “Spy and Snoop in India” was the only successful scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Spy & Snoop in India” is the only successful scheme of Modi Ji. On PMO’s directions CBI & IB are on infiltrating spree for the benefit of Modi Ji.— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) October 25, 2018
Did PM take oath to protect the privacy and freedom of its citizens or deliberately violate it through eavesdropping?
Congress Addresses Media Over CBI Row
Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi addressed the media over the CBI row saying that the latest developments took place only because the Modi government has a lot to hide.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge addresses media on CBIPosted by The Quint on Thursday, October 25, 2018
Security Beefed Up Outside CBI Headquarters
Security has been increased outside the CBI Headquarters in Delhi in the backdrop of ongoing investigations against Rakesh Asthana.
SC Agrees To Hear Prashant Bhushan's Plea for SIT
Supreme Court agrees to hear a fresh petition filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking an SIT probe against CBI officials, including Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Four IB Men Apprehended Outside Alok Verma's House
Four IB men were apprehended from outside the residence of CBI Director Alok Verma, IANS reported.
They were handed over to Delhi Police and later identified as Dheeraj Kumar, Ajay Kumar, Prashant Kumar and Vineet Kumar Gupta.
Dheeraj Kumar and Ajay Kumar told the police they were junior IB officers while the other two claimed to be seniors in the Bureau.
Congress To Hold Pan-India Protests on Friday
The Congress will hold protests on Friday outside all CBI offices across the country, demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reinstatement of CBI director Alok Verma who was sent on leave, sources said.
Top Congress leaders will be part of the protest outside the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters in the national capital, while state leaders, including state party chiefs, will take part in similar protests.
Top Congress sources said the party will ask the prime minister to apologise to the nation for "illegal and unconstitutional" sending on leave of the CBI director.
Kejriwal Targets Modi by Retweeting His 2013 Tweets On CBI Feuds
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, 24 OCtober, sought to corner the prime minister over CBI's internal feud, retweeting Narendra Modi's 2013 tweet in which he had slammed the then UPA government for allegedly undermining the intelligence system of the country.
Kejriwal retweeted Modi's 5 June, 2013 tweet in which he had said it was "Unfortunate that in its quest to target political opponents, Centre is undermining intelligence systems with CBI questioning IB officials." The Congress-led UPA was in power in 2013.
Unfortunate that in its quest to target political opponents, Centre is undermining intelligence systems with CBI questioning IB officials.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2013
Verma's Removal Was to Cover Up Rafale Investigations: Opp Leaders
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the CBI row, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday, 24 October, alleged that its Director Alok Verma was removed because the agency was raising questions over the Rafale fighter jet deal.
“This development clearly establishes Modi government's link to the Rafale scam,” Naidu said, ANI reported.
However, at a press conference in Delhi later on in the day, Jaitley, however, dismissed as "rubbish" allegations that Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the Rafale fighter jet deal.
He said the government's decision to remove Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana is based on the Central Vigilance Commission's recommendations, PTI reported.
Central Vigilance Commmissioner Refuses to Speak to Media
KV Chaudhary, Central Vigilance Commissioner on Rakesh Asthana-Alok Verma probe, refused to speak to the media stating that he was “under oath of secrecy.”
PIL Seeks SC Monitored CBI Probe into Rafale
A fresh PIL has been filed by Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie seeking Supreme Court monitored probe into the Rafale deal. They also sought the non-transfer of CBI offcials investigating the deal.
The petition claimed that an FIR has not been reigistered as “there is extreme pressure on the CBI.”
Verma Did Not Divest Asthana of Supervisory Charges
The CBI on Wednesday, 24 October, denied media reports that suggested that CBI director Alok Verma divested Asthana of all supervisory charges a day earlier.
Rao's Appointment as CBI Chief an Abuse of Power: Stalin
Appointment of a controversial officer like Nageshwar Rao is nothing but to ensure that the CBI remains as the caged parrot of the BJP government, alleged DMK chief MK Stalin after Rao was appointed as the interim CBI director.
Stalin called the appointment an abuse of power. He also alleged that several complaints were made to Alok Verma against Rao, and Verma had intended to initiate a probe into the allegations made against him.
“This shows an undeclared emergency has been imposed in our country,” said Stalin and asked if this has been done to fudge Rafale scam investigations.
Facts and Circumstances Must Be Probed Independently: DoPT
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has put out a statement saying:
“It’s a matter of great public importance that facts and circumstances which have given rise to such an extraordinary and unprecedented situation are inquired into independently and before any further erosions to the credibility of the institution.”
Team Probing Asthana's Case Reconstituted: CBI
A CBI spokesperson has reportedly said the team probing Special Director Rakesh Asthana’s case has been reconstituted for “a fair, impartial and expeditious probe.”
The spokesperson also asserted that the CBI is “united” and “nothing’s amiss.”
According to News18, CBI has said that “each and every allegation of Alok Verma against Rakesh Asthana” will be probed.
Highlights from Alok Verma's Petition Against the Centre's Decision
In his petition plea, Alok Verma told the Supreme Court that the CVC and the Centre took an “overnight decision” to divest him of the CBI director’s role. This, he alleged, is contrary to Section 4B of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.
- Verma also stated that he can furnish details of many cases, which are extremely sensitive, and may have led to the present circumstances.
- Verma stressed on the need for an independent CBI. He alleged that the “present circumstances” occurred when “certain investigation into high functionaries did not take the direction that may be desirable to the government.”
- He also lashed out at Asthana, saying that he impeded investigations and also concocted evidence against Verma in an attempt to damage his reputation.
Highlights from Govt of India's Statement on Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana
- The Government of India has evaluated the material before it and in interest of equality, fair play and principles of natural justice, decided to divest Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Asthana of their functions, power, duty and supervisory role in any manner as Director, CBI and Special Director, CBI.
- Grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another has vitiated the official eco-system of the organisation.
- The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI leading to a potential loss of its credibility.
- The CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records/files relating to serious allegations.
Petition Filed In Bombay HC Seeking SIT Probe
A petition has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an investigation into Alok Verma-Rakesh Asthana controversy, reported ANI.
The petition also demanded a retired Supreme Court judge in the SIT.
CBI Director Has Been Non-Cooperative: Govt
The government, in a statement, detailed the reasons as to why action had been taken against CBI Director Alok Verma.
The Central Vigilance Commission had reportedly sent three notices to the Director regarding the complaints filed against senior officials in the agency. However, the director failed to furnish the required notices on the stipulated date i.e. 14 September, the statement read.
"“CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records / files sought by the CVC relating to serious allegations.”"
The government then reportedly decide to divest Verma and Asthana from their positions in view of an “extraordinary and unprecedented situation.”
"“GoI has evaluated the material before it and in the interest of equality, fair play and principles of natural justice,decided to divest Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI and Rakesh Asthana, CBI of their functions, power, duty and supervisory role in any manner.”"
However, the divestment is only an interim measure which will be in place till the CVC completes its inquiry into the matter, and till such time M Nagshwar Rao will take over as interim director, the statement read.
Petition Filed in Bombay HC Seeking SIT
A petition has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an investigation into Alok Verma - Rakesh Asthana issue. The petition also demands a retired Supreme Court judge in the SIT.
Interim Director to Personally Supervise Sensitive Cases
All sensitive cases including Vijay Mallya and Agusta Westland cases will be personally supervised by new interim Central Bureau of Investigation chief Nageshwar Rao, reported ANI.
Rahul Gandhi Links Govt Action Against to Rafale Scam
Congress President Rahul Gandhi linked the government action taken against CBI Director Alok Verma to the alleged Rafale scam. He tweeted:
CBI चीफ आलोक वर्मा राफेल घोटाले के कागजात इकट्ठा कर रहे थे। उन्हें जबरदस्ती छुट्टी पर भेज दिया गया।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 24, 2018
प्रधानमंत्री का मैसेज एकदम साफ है जो भी राफेल के इर्द गिर्द आएगा- हटा दिया जाएगा, मिटा दिया जाएगा।
देश और संविधान खतरे में हैं।
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan, he reiterated his stance on the crisis, claiming that the PM had taken action against Verma over the Rafale scam.
Congress Briefs Media Over CBI Crisis
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi addresses media on rift in CBIPosted by The Quint on Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the BJP-led government of ‘paralysing’ investigative agency to misuse their powers.
"“The prosecution agency, and officers, have been paralysed by this government only to support an accused pinned with an extortion charge.” "
"Surprised Verma Has Been Shifted': BJP MP Subramanian Swamy
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy questioned his own government’s move to send CBI Director on leave. Speaking to ANI, he said:
"I am surprised an upright man like Alok Verma has been shifted. "
Officials' Leave an 'Interim Measure', SIT to Probe Case: Jaitley
Fielding questions from the media on the CBI crisis, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said an SIT would be formed to investigate the charges against the agency two top officers.
"To maintain the integrity of the CBI, purely as an interim measure, they will sit out by going on leave for a while, and an SIT not functioning under either of these two officers will investigate. This is in accordance of highest standards of fairness. "
Transfers in the CBI So Far
- Manish Kumar Sinha DIG AC3 and BS&FC New Delhi transfer to ACB Nagpur
- Tarun Gauba DIG ACB chandigarh transferred to AC3 Delhi in place of Manish Sinha
- DIG special crime 1 Jasbir Singh to hold add charge of HOB BS&FC
- Anees prasad DIG surveillance unit posted from surveillance unit 1 to the adminstration and personnel wing.
- KR Chaurasia HOb of economic offences 1 to hold additional charge of DIG surveillance unit 1
- Ram Gopal HOb of SCB chandigarh to hold additional charge of HOB ACB chandigarh
- Satish Dagar SP economic offences 3 is transferred to AC3
- AK Bassi DY SP cbi AC3 transfer to port Blair anti corruption branch
- S S Gurm addition sp cbi AC3 delhi transfer ACB Jabalpur
- Arun kumar sharma JD policy is transferred JD MDMA
- A Sai Manohar head of zone / JD chandigarh with hq in Delhi to hold additional charge of SIT and TFC zone
- V Murugesan head of zone AC2 (HQ) to hold add charge of HOZ /JD AC1 (HQ)
- Amit kumar DIG HOB EO3 to hold add charge of the office of JD policy
Modi Govt Conducting Political Coup: Yechury
Slamming the government for allegedly protecting Asthana and ‘other chosen officers’, CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the transfers were a ‘political coup’ orchestrated by the government.
"“We don’t know if CBI was investigating other issues like Rafale scam. If that was the case, it was ordered to protect the government, PM & concerned officers. Why was the DIG investigating the charges against Asthana has been sent to ‘Kala Pani’ in Andaman?”"
New Team to Investigate Allegations Against Asthana
After a complete overhaul of the team that was probing the case against Asthana, Interim Director Nageshwar Rao has brought in a fresh team to investigate the charges.
According to PTI, Rao appointed Satish Dagar as Superintendent of Police to probe the case. Dagar has in the past probed cases against Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. His first supervisor will be DIG Tarun Gauba, who had probed Vyapam cases. At joint director-level, V Murugesan has been brought in.
'Country is Harassed': Mallikarjun Kharge
Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at the government for allegedly shielding Asthana from investigation.
Stating that Asthana’s appointment to the CBI had been opposed by the Congress right from the beginning, Kharge alleged that the government was misusing the agency to it benefit by appointing those in its good books.
Action Against Verma to Protect Asthana: Prashant Bhushan
Speaking to the press outside the Supreme Court, advocate Prashant Bhushan said Alok Verma had been sent on leave in a bid to protect Rakesh Asthana.
"“The committee of PM, CJI and leader of Opposition only has the authority to remove the CBI director if there is some disciplinary action that needs to be taken.Rakesh Asthana was already facing allegations of corruption when he was made CBI Spl director. To protect Asthana, Alok Verma has been removed and Nageshwar Rao has been given the additional charge who is already facing some serious allegations of DA and shielding corrupt officials. Despite Verma voicing concerns of charges against Rao, the CVC has appointed him as the director. All this is being done to save Rakesh Asthana. Moreover, it’s also likely that the Rafale complaint that we had filed with the CBI, that is why all this is being done. We will challenge this in court.”"
An earlier NDTV report mentioned that Verma had met Bhushan and Arun Shourie personally when the latter visited the CBI headquarters to submit a formal complaint urging a probe into the Rafale deal.
The report alleged that the Centre had indicated its displeasure with Verma having met Shourie and Bhushan over the complaint, especially when it was against agency protocol to do so.
Investigative Officers Probing Asthana Transferred
AK Bassi, the investigative officer in the Rakesh Asthana bribery case, has been transferred to Port Blair.
13 other officers, including MK Sinha, who was also probing the Asthana case, have been transferred.
DIG Taurn Gauba, DIG Jasbir Singh, DIG Anish Prasad, DIG KR Chaurasia, HoB Ram Gopal and SP Satish Dagar have also been transferred.
CBI's JD Arun Kumar Sharma, A Sai Manohar, HoZ V Murugesan and DIG Amit Kumar have been transferred/posted. They were a part of the team probing the case against CBI's Rakesh Asthana.
Searches on at CBI Offices
After the interim director took charge of the agency at 2 am early 24 October morning, searches have been underway on the 10th and 11 floor offices.
Additional Director Arun Sharma’s cabin is situated on the 10th floor, while Director Verma and Special Director Asthana’s cabins are situated on the 11th floor.
SC to Hear Verma's Petition on Friday
CBI chief Alok Verma has challenged the order in Supreme Court. A bench headed by CJI Gogoi said the petition will be heard on 26 October.
Verma was represented by advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, who mentioned the petition in the court and said the investigating officers of sensitive cases are being changed.
CBI Staff Not Allowed to Enter Premises
SIT to Probe Allegations: Report
A source-based report on News18 mentioned that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) would be set up to probe the allegations leveled against both the CBI officers.
The channel further mentioned that the DoPT order was issued at midnight, and Nageshwar Rao took charge as interim director two hours later.
No Movement of Officials till 2 pm: CBI Sources
Speaking to ANI, sources from the CBI said that there will no movement of files or officials at the CBI director and special director’s offices till 2 pm today.
'Systematic Dismantling of CBI', Says Congress
Hitting out at the Centre’s move to divest CBI Director Alok Verma, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the “systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete.”
Modi Govt buries the ‘last nail’ into the independence of CBI.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 24, 2018
Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete.
Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility & reliability is ‘buried & dead’. 1/n pic.twitter.com/11b451jYBV
Nageshwar Rao Takes Charge as Interim Director
Joint Director Nageshwar Rao takes charge of the CBI as interim director early 24th October morning. Rao has removed Additional Director Arun Sharma, who was heading the Asthana case, from the charge of Joint Director Policy and Joint Director Anti-Corruption Headquarters.
SP, Anti corruption, SS Gurm, also part of Asthana investigative team, has been moved to another department.
Offices of Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana Sealed
CBI sources told The Quint that the offices of Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana have been sealed pending investigation over bribery charges against Asthana.
Prashant Bhushan to Challenge Order, Calls Move Illegal
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that CBI chief Alok Verma was sent on leave because he was pursuing Rakesh Asthana over bribery charges. He also said that he will challenge the move in the court.
Breaking! As feared&suspected, the govt has removed the Director CBI from his charge, because he was pursuing corrupt Spl Director Rakesh Asthana who was foisted on CBI by PMO despite his being investigated by the CBI itself in corruption cases.Totally illegal. Will be Challenged pic.twitter.com/KyZgEUBpyF— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) October 24, 2018
CBI Chief Alok Verma Sent on Leave, Interim Director Appointed
CBI Director Alok Verma and Special director Rakesh Asthana have been divested, while Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao will take over as the interim director.
Speaking to The Quint, sources at the CBI said that Asthana and Verma’s rooms had been sealed and their drivers withdrawn, and that they would not be allowed to enter the premises. Along with Asthana and Verma, several other officers have also not been permitted to enter the premises.
Developments in CBI Seriously Damaging Indian Republic: CPI(M)
The CPI(M) on Tuesday, 23 October, said the current developments in the country's premier investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have seriously damaged the Indian republic and must be resisted, PTI reported.
"The polit bureau considers these developments are seriously damaging the Indian Republic and must be resisted tooth and nail," the Left party said in a statement.
It said the recent happenings in the CBI show the degree of damage that is being caused by the present government at the Centre to Constitutional authorities and institutions of parliamentary democracy in India.
CBI Probes Rakesh Asthana's Daughter's Wedding
The CBI announced that it is investigating the 2016 wedding of the daughter of its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in Vadodara, following the bribery charges against the latter. According to The Indian Express, the agency questioned about a dozen people and heard back from at least four hotels on expenses made and facilities provided.
According to the replies and CBI documents, several venues were availed by the Asthana family on a “complimentary” basis. However, catering and other services at for the wedding were paid for in credit cards and cheques.
CBI Calls Rakesh Asthana 'Pest', Court Takes Exception to Remark
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 23 October, took strong exception to CBI's remark that Special Director Rakesh Asthana's presence in the organisation was akin to pest in the wood.
While advancing arguments on Asthana's plea seeking to quash the FIR against him on bribery allegations, CBI's counsel K Raghavacharyulu, in an apparent reference to Asthana, said that "if there is pest in wood, wood will become useless”, PTI reported.
He repeated that "wood will be useless, if pest catches it". Justice Najmi Waziri then interjected and warned the counsel from making such comments, PTI reported.
Arun Shourie 'Compliments' Alok Verma
Former Union Minister Arun Shourie “complimented” CBI Chief Alok Verma and has staff for investigating allegations against the agency’s second-in-command Rakesh Asthana.
"I would compliment Verma's (CBI chief Alok Verma) staff for investigating Asthana when they know he has the backing of what's called in India 'the highest of the land'. This must be investigated until the end," Shourie told NDTV.
Shourie asserted that it was within Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s purview to find “remedial measures,” but he should not “interfere” in the course of the investigation.
How Case Against Asthana Can Benefit Mallya
Rakesh Asthana is a key officer in the Vijay Mallya case. He is the SIT head of the case and has also attended all the hearings on Mallya's extradition in the London court.
Now with corruption case against Asthana, Mallya can take a plea in the court that the SIT head is “corrupt” and that he was involved in “fudging documents.” Therefore, he can argue that Asthana’s probe into the bank fraud against Mallya “cannot be trusted.”
Asthana, however, continues to head SIT probing Vijay Mallya and Augutawestland cases.
DSP Devendra Kumar Sent to 7-Day Remand
CBI Deputy SP Devender Kumar, accused of falsifying witness statement, has been sent to CBI custody for seven days remand by the Delhi HC
CBI Adds Five More Section to FIR Against Asthana
The CBI has added five more sections under IPC, in the existing FIR against Rakesh Asthana. These are sections: 388 (extortion of money by threat), 384 (extortion), 389 (extortion of money) , 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document)
The CBI added these sections after DSP Devinder Kumar was arrested.
No Action Against Asthana Till Next Hearing: Delhi HC
The Delhi HC, on Tuesday, said no action can be taken against CBI’s Rakesh Asthana till Monday, 29 October, when it will hear the case next, reported ANI.
CBI director Alok Verma will, on 29 October, respond to the allegations levelled against him by Asthana .
Delhi HC Refuses to Stay Proceedings Against Rakesh Asthana
The Delhi HC refused to stay the proceedings against Rakesh Asthana in the alleged bribery case and also ordered status quo till Monday, 29 October.
The court ordered that all electronic records of the accused, including those on mobile phones and laptops, have to be preserved.
Prior Permission Not Required Under Prevention of Corruption Act: CBI Counsel
The CBI counsel explained that a prior permission before initiating an inquiry in a case of a serving officer is “not necessary” when the charges are under the Prevention of Corruption Act, reported Live Law.
Nature of the Case Related to Bribery, Corruption: CBI Counsel
The Delhi HC sought clarity on the nature of the case, to which the counsel for CBI clarified that it concerns Bribery and Corruption.
This Is a Case of Illegal Registration of FIR: Rakesh Asthana's Advocate
"This is a case of illegal registration of FIR against CBI special director based on a statement of an accused," senior advocate for Rakesh Asthana submitted before Delhi HC, reported ANI.
He said that FIR had been registered against the special director on the basis of complaint by Satish Sana, who was sought to be arrested by Asthana.
“This matter is of great urgency. The person whose arrest was recommended by Asthana has now been made a complainant&based on his complaint this FIR has been filed. Any investigation without proper permission will be illegal," the senior advocate said.
Senior Advocate Sharan Appears for Asthana
Senior Advocate Amarendra Sharan appears for Rakesh Asthana in the Delhi High Court, reported LiveLaw.
A junior advocate Raghava Charulu represented CBI in the Delhi HC in quashing petition case. Generally, an SG or ASG level legal officer appears in high profile cases.
Asthana Moves Delhi High Court Seeking to Quash FIR
Special Director CBI Rakesh Asthana has also moved the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the FIR filed against him, while adding that no coercive steps be taken against him.
Arrested CBI Officer Produced at Patiala House Court
CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar was produced before Delhi's Patiala House Court.
The CBI has demanded police custody for Kumar by stating that "incriminating documents and evidence were found after raiding his office and residence."
They have sought custody for ten days, reported ANI.
Arrested CBI DSP Moves Delhi HC
CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested by the CBI in connection with bribery allegations against its special Director Rakesh Asthana on Monday, has moved the Delhi High Court, seeking to quash the FIR against him.
PMO Summons CBI Dir & Deputy Over Public Spat, Bribery Charges
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday reportedly summoned CBI chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana amid public fighting involving corruption allegations, NDTV reported.
This comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in an unprecedented move, booked Asthana for allegedly receiving bribes from middlemen to give relief to a businessman being probed by him in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
CBI Arrests DSP in Asthana Bribery Case
The CBI on Monday arrested its DSP Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations against its special Director Rakesh Asthana. Meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption, had paid bribe to get a case against him settled, the agency said.
"Kumar, who has been the investigation officer in the Moin Qureshi case, has been arrested on the allegation of falsification of records," the agency said.
CBI Books Special Director Rakesh Asthana for Accepting Bribes
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly booked its own Special Director Rakesh Asthana for accepting bribes in the Moin Qureshi money laundering case.
According to a report by The Pioneer, Asthana had allegedly accepted Rs 2 crore to help Qureshi get away.
According to The Indian Express, Special Director of R&AW Samant Kumar Goel has also been named in the FIR. However, while Goel’s role is being probed, he has not been named an accused.
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