Rafale file was not under Alok Verma says CBI

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Oct 26: The CBI 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.

In an unprecedented shake-up in the CBI's 55-year-history, both Verma and his deputy, Special Director Rakesh Asthana, were divested of their powers and sent on leave in a dramatic overnight action by the government Tuesday night.

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A news report claimed 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.

In a statement, CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal termed the news report as false.
This is being manufactured by vested interests. Every file in the CBI at each level is accounted for, he said.

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Union minister Arun Shourie had submitted a detailed complaint to Verma on October 4 regarding alleged corruption in the deal signed with France's Dassault Aviation to buy 36 Rafale aircraft.

Along with the "detailed" complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Bhushan and Shourie had also submitted documents buttressing their argument for the need of probe.

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Alleging that the offset contract for Rafale aircraft was actually a commission to an private company, they had asked Verma to take the government's permission to initiate a probe in accordance with the law.

Apart from protecting Asthana (Special Director) from investigation, the Rafale complaint by Shourie, Sinha and myself, entertained by the CBI Director, must be another reason for the Govt to remove him with such alacrity by this midnight order, Bhushan had tweeted Wednesday.

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