The government on Wednesday appointed M Nageshwar Rao as interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director with immediate effect, reported news agency ANI. Meanwhile, Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave. The developments have come at a time when there is an internal war going on within the agency.
CBI Vs CBI: Here's what happened throughout the day
14:58 pm: CBI forms new team to probe bribery allegations against former Special Director Rakesh Asthana. The agency has directed the new team which includes joint director V Murugesan, SP Satish Dagar and DIG Tarun Gaba to conduct a fair investigation into the matter.
15:25 pm: CBI Director Alok Verma did not cooperate with CVC in probe against him, says a statement released by the Government
15:12 pm: Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the Director, CBI failed to furnish the records before Commission. CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records sought by the Commission relating to serious allegations: Information and Broadcasting Ministry
15:06 pm: Various opportunities have been given to produce such records and after several adjournments, though CBI assured the Commission on September 24, 2018 to furnish the records within three weeks: Information and Broadcasting Ministry
15:05 pm: CVC on receipt of a complaint on August 24,2018 containing various allegations against senior functionaries of CBI has served 3 separate notices(under section 11 of CVC Act, 2003)on Sept 11 upon Director,CBI to produce files and documents before Commission on September 14: Information and Broadcasting Ministry
14:07 pm: CBI chief Alok Verma was removed because he was probing Rafale case. PM's message is clear, if anyone will work on Rafale, he will be removed, decimated. The country and the constitution are in danger: Tweeted Rahul Gandhi
13:43 pm: Immediately after illegally removing the Director CBI, Alok Verma & illegally appointing tainted officer Nageshwar Rao as acting Director, the entire ACB team particularly those investigating PMO's blue eyed boy Asthana, are being replaced with alacrity! It is Modi's CBI Gate: Tweeted Prashant Bhushan
12:55 pm: Regarding, the charge the 3 opposition parties have made, I regard this charge as a rubbish. The fact that the 3 opposition parties are saying, that we know what the agency was going to do next, itself casts a serious doubt on the fairness process: FM Arun Jaitley
12:49 pm: The CVC's recommendation and the government's action is intended to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of CBI: FM Arun Jaitley
12:47 pm: "CVC in its yesterday's meeting said neither these 2 officers (Arun Verma & Rakesh Asthana) nor any agency under their supervision can investigate charges against them. So the officers will sit out by going on leave. It's an interim measure," says Arun Jaitley.
12:36 pm: To maintain the institutional integrity of CBI and in the interest of fairness, purely as an interim measure,they will sit out by going on leave. An SIT not functioning under either of these officers will investigate. This is in accordance with highest standards of fairness: FM
12:35 pm: CBI is a premier investigative agency, for maintenance of its institutional integrity, it is a pre condition and absolutely essential for fair investigation: FM Arun Jaitley
12:33 pm: Director has been accused by Special Director. A Special Director has been accused by CBI. Two topmost officers of CBI have been accused. Now who will investigate it? Requirements of fairness & fair play have to be there. Government can't investigate it: FM Arun Jaitley
12:30 pm: On CVC's recommendation, officers are sent on leave: Arun Jaitley
12:26 pm: CVC has the power to investigate the CBI bribery matter: Arun Jaitley
12:22 pm: CBI DIG Tarun Gauba, SP Satish Dagar and Joint Director V Murugesan will probe charges against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana
12:20 pm: CBI has now become so called BBI ( BJP Bureau of Investigation ) - very unfortunate!: Tweeted Mamata Banerjee
12:18 pm: Is there a co-relation between Rafale deal and removal of Alok Verma? Was Alok Verma about to start investigations into Rafale, which could become problem for Modi ji?: Questioned Arvind Kejriwal
12:12 pm: 13 CBI officers transferred so far
12:02 pm: We don't know if CBI was investigating other issues like Rafale scam. If that was the case, it was ordered to protect the govt, PM & concerned officers. Why was the DIG investigating the charges against Asthana has been sent to 'Kala Pani' in Andaman?: Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M)
12:00 pm: The Modi govt & the Prime Minister have conducted a political coup against the CBI. They have conducted transfer of all the officers & directors, & main objective appears to be to protect the chosen officers of the Prime Minister posted at CBI: Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M)
11:50 am: I maintain that the integrity of the institution (CBI) is the most important. In an extraordinary situation, the government has full authority to act. At this time, an open fight between the top two people spells doomsday for the institution: Vikas Singh, former ASG
11:32 am: CBI's JD (P)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
11:24 am: CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG Taurn Gauba, DIG Jasbir Singh, DIG Anish Prasad, DIG KR Chaurasia, HoB Ram Gopal and SP Satish Dagar have been transferred. They were probing the case against CBI's Rakesh Asthana.
11:15 am: Dy SP CBI AK Bassi has been transferred and posted as Dy SP CBI, ACB Port Blair and Addnl SP CBI SS Gum transferred and posted as CBI, ACB Jabalpur, they were probing the case against CBI's Rakesh Asthana
11:05 am: M Nageshwar Rao takes charge as interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director. No room at CBI headquarters has been sealed: CBI spokesperson
10:42 am: Alok Verma has reached SC. His lawyer appealed for early hearing in the case. Apex court will hear the matter on Friday.
10:38 am: CBI staff is not allowed to enter the office premises before 12 pm
10:21 am: Alok Verma may knock the doors of Supreme Court today against the Centre's order of sending him on leave
10:05 am: After a letter from CVC, raids took place at the CBI HQ: Sources
10:02 am: Powers from MK Sinha also taken
09:59 am: There will be no movement of officials or files at CBI Director's office and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana's office till 2 pm today: CBI sources
09:32 am: What are the reasons for sending CBI director on leave? Under which law did the Modi govt get the authority to initiate action against the chief of an investigating agency appointed as per the Lokpal Act ? What is Modi govt trying to hide?: Questioned Arvind Kejriwal
09:25 am: Additional Director AK Sharma also sent on leave
09:05 am: Offices of Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana are also being searched
09:04 am: Modi Govt buries the ‘last nail’ into the independence of CBI. Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete.Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility & reliability is ‘buried & dead’: Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted
09:27 am: Additional Director AK Sharma also sent on leave
09:00 am: Raids are taking place at the office of DSP Devender Kumar
08:32 am: 10th and 11th floors of the CBI HQ sealed
08:30 am: Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave
08:28 am: M Nageshwar Rao appointed interim CBI director with immediate effect. Rao is a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Orissa cadre. He hails from Telangana's Warangal district.
Meanwhile. the Delhi High Court, on Tuesday, ordered that no action can be taken against Special Director of the CBI Rakesh Asthana till October 29, the next date of hearing. However, the court clarified that there is no stay on the probe considering the nature and gravity of the case.
Asthana has challenged the FIR lodged against him on bribery allegations. Besides him, the agency's Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested by the CBI on Monday, has also filed a separate petition seeking quashing of the FIR.
The order asking the agency to maintain the status quo, till October 29, has been issued on the plea of Asthana only.
Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana who was under probe in the Qureshi case in order to "wreck" the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Asthana.
Here are latest updates in the case:
- The CBI may soon question its Special Director Rakesh Asthana in connection with alleged bribery to give relief to a businessman who was being probed in a case involving Moin Qureshi, sources said on Tuesday, reported PTI. On Tuesday, Justice Najmi Waziri issued notices and sought responses of the probe agency and its Director Alok Kumar Verma as also Joint Director A K Sharma on both the petitions.
- The notice has also been issued to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which has jurisdiction over the CBI and its permission is required for investigations against bureaucrats.
- The high court asked both Asthana and Kumar to preserve the records which are in their custody, including mobile phones.
- The court listed the matter for October 29 after CBI's counsel K Raghavacharyulu sought time to bring on record various sections under which the FIR was lodged.
- During the hearing, CBI said charges against Asthana are serious and the agency was investigating the matter and is likely to add more offences in the FIR.
- Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan and advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for Asthana, said it is a case of malafide and illegal registration of FIR against the Special CBI Director which is based on the statement of an accused.
- Asthana's counsel said DoPT's sanction is required to proceed against the officers and no permission was sought from the department.
- CBI's counsel said the FIR was registered under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, and they have added more sections against the accused relating to extortion and forgery.
- The CBI on Tuesday suspended its DSP Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi and added five new sections into the existing bribery FIR lodged against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
- "Devender Kumar has been suspended from his duties as per the procedure," a CBI official said.
WATCH VIDEO: No action against CBI director Rakesh Asthana untill next hearing, says Delhi High Court
(With inputs from agencies)