CVC probes Alok Verma: No significant evidence of corruption against CBI director, but separate investigation needed

Yatish Yadav
There were other allegations against Alok Verma levelled by his deputy including charges of omitting the name of a senior railway official from the FIR filed in Lalu Yadav case.

The fate of CBI director Alok Verma hangs in balance after Supreme Court adjourned the matter till Friday. Sources said the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry report examining allegations of corruption against Verma has raised some questions that require a separate and detailed probe. They also maintained that the report does not give a clean chit to Verma but prima facie found no significant evidence against the chief, who was sent on leave on 23 October. It is learnt former Supreme Court judge justice AK Patnaik, who supervised the CVC preliminary inquiry has also submitted a separate report on the entire process.

"The CVC was told to look into specific allegations only that was levelled against Verma during the preliminary probe. A slew of allegations was mentioned by Special Director Rakesh Asthana in his letter to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha in August that formed the basis of the investigation," the sources said.

Asthana had alleged that CBI Director Verma did not share crucial intelligence report against two industrialists with other agencies and had also opposed interrogation of  Sathish Babu Sana in the Moin Qureshi case. Sana, Asthana had alleged was an accused in the case but later became a complainant in the bribery case involving Asthana, DSP Devender Kumar and middlemen. An FIR has been registered against Asthana and others for allegedly taking money to scuttle probe. Asthana in his letter in August to the cabinet secretary had said Sathish Sana was called for examination on 20 February 2018. "However, even before Sathish Sana appeared at CBI headquarters, Alok Verma called him on SIP phone and instructed that Sathish Sana shall not be examined," Verma had claimed.

"I immediately enquired with Sai Manohar, Joint Director, SIT, who was in my office at that time whether Sathish Sana has been called. After ascertaining from SP, SIT, he confirmed that Sathish Sana was expected today. Despite instructions (illegal to my understanding) Sathish Sana was examined in the CBI head office by the Investigating Officer and the instructions of Alok Verma, were not passed down the line," Asthana had alleged further adding that Sana claimed to have paid Rs 2 crore to manage CBI's senior officials and after examination in February, he was not coming forth, and was evading confrontation with other accused. Asthana said Sana was directed to attend CBI officer on 21.02. 2018 for confrontation with Moin Qureshi and Sukesh Gupta, however, he did not turn up.

"Apparently, as has been done in the past, the said accused (Sana) has managed to influence Alok Verma, Director CBI to avoid any coercive action by the CBI. The circumstances pertaining to the conduct of the accused as mentioned above indicate of wrongdoing," Asthana has alleged.

There were other allegations against Verma levelled by his deputy including charges of omitting the name of a senior railway official from the FIR filed in Lalu Yadav case. Asthana had alleged that the probe was stonewalled at several stages and officers in the agency struggled to register a case despite having sufficient evidence on the record.  He also alleged that Verma had directed to call off the searches at Lalu's residence but reluctantly agreed at the last moment.

Also See: CBI vs CBI investigation: Alok Verma appears before Central Vigilance Commission, to be examined by full panel later

CVC likely to summon CBI Director Alok Verma, Special Director Rakesh Asthana to record statements

Trouble in CBI started during Emergency; blame decline on political interference, unjustified expansion of CVC jurisdiction

Read more on India by Firstpost.