New Delhi: Former CBI director Alok Verma, who was ousted from the agency by a high-powered selection committee, has said that he was transferred on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations” made by only one person, who was inimical to him.
Verma who was transferred as the Director General Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, two days after Supreme Court reinstated him as the CBI chief, was replaced by M Nageshwar Rao as interim director till government finds next director for the agency, a government order said on Thursday.
Rao assumed charge of the agency on Thursday at 9 pm, an internal order of the CBI said.
Breaking his silence, Verma in a statement to PTI aid that the CBI, being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places, is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected.
“It 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,” he said.
Verma said it was “sad” 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”.
In the statement, he said the committee was assigned the task of deciding his future course of action as the CBI director.
Special Director Rakesh Asthana, with whom Verma had a public feud, had given a complaint against him to the cabinet secretary in August, which was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission.
The report given by the commission carried most of the allegations which led to the ouster of Verma.
According to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the dissenting voice in the three member committee also comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice A K Sikri, there were 10 allegations.
Six were false, four needed further investigations, and four had circumstantial evidence and were “unflattering” to Verma, he said in his note to the committee.
Asthana was booked by the CBI on October 15, 2018 on the basis of a magisterial statement recorded by a businessman Sathish Babu Sana who had claimed that two businessmen brothers had sought bribe of Rs 5 crore from him to get relief to him in a CBI case against him using their contacts with the special director.
Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, was transferred as Director General Fire Services after the high-powered selection committee decided to remove him from the post of the CBI director.
“I have stood up for the integrity of the institution, and if asked will do it again in order to uphold the rule of law,” he said.