After the internal war in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) escalated, the Centre took the matter in its hands. It not only removed the top two officers of the premier investigation agency but also appointed an interim Director on Wednesday.
Over the ongoing CBI row, the Congress party will hold protests across the country on Friday. Interestingly, on Friday, Supreme Court will also hear a plea filed by CBI Director Alok Verma against the government’s move. The Centre on Wednesday sent him and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave.
ALSO READ: Opposition attacks BJP on 'removal' of CBI director Alok Verma
CBI vs CBI: As It Happened
13:40 pm: A K Bassi has reached CBI HQ. He arrived CBI headquarters to handover files related to Rakesh Asthana case, said sources.
13:20 pm: Delhi police releases all 4 IB officials caught by Alok Verma's PSO earlier in the day
12:25 pm: Once again security is increased outside CBI HQ in Delhi
12:06 pm: IB is entrusted with the responsibility of collecting intelligence on situations that may affect, inter alia, public order and internal security. Among other things, it's units are routinely deployed on a regular basis in sensitive areas: MHA sources on IB
11:57 am: SC agrees for an urgent hearing to a PIL seeking court-monitored SIT probe into allegations of corruption against various CBI officials, including Rakesh Asthana, who was divested of his responsibilities as the agency's special director.
11:25 am: IB officials normally do patrolling of sensitive areas: IB sources on four suspects being caught from outside Alok Verma's residence
11:15 am: Prashant Bhushan files plea in SC challenging government's decision of appointing M Nageshwar Rao as interim director of the CBI. The petition also demands that Rakesh Asthana's case must be probed by a SIT.
10:15 am: "After making CBI as ‘Central Burial of Investigation’, Modi Govt now stoops to a ‘new low’ - Snooping on ‘forcibly removed’ CBI Director through IB.Let everyone be forewarned - IB is heading the CBI way!" tweeted Randeep Surjewala.
10:00 am: Congress Party will also stage a protest outside CBI HQ in New Delhi tomorrow: Randeep Surjewala to ANI
09:38 am: Four suspects were taken away by Delhi police in a private vehicle
09:21 am: As per initial reports, they are said to be Intelligence Bureau officials. They came in two separate white cars.
CBI War: 'Removal illegal', divested chief Alok Verma tells SC; Rahul Gandhi points towards Rafale 'probe'
09:18 am: Two more suspects caught from outside the residence of Alok Verma by his PSO
08:33 am: Two suspects caught from outside the residence of Alok Verma by his PSO, cops called
Here are top 10 developments in the CBI vs CBI case:
- Alok Kumar Verma on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that divesting him of his powers "overnight" by the Centre amounts to interference in the independence of the agency whose probes against "high functionaries" may not take the line desirable to the government. He said the Centre and the CVC's move was "patently illegal" and such interference "erodes" the independence and autonomy of the premier investigating institution.
- The government on Wednesday appointed M Nageshwar Rao as interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director with immediate effect. Later in the day, Rao took charge.
- 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.
- 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. 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 to Director, CBI to produce files and documents before Commission on September 14: Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
- 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
- “The CVC's recommendation and the government's action are intended to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of CBI,” said FM Arun Jaitley and added, “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. A SIT not functioning under either of these officers will investigate. This is in accordance with highest standards of fairness.”
13 CBI officers transferred so far.
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
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
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.
About the Alok Kumar Verma-Rakesh Asthana bribery case:
The war between the two officials had escalated after Rakesh Asthana had written to the CVC in August levelling allegations of misconduct and corruption in the probe into meat exporter Moin Qureshi case while the CBI registered a case on Sunday against Asthana accusing him of accepting bribe to settle Qureshi's case.
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.
WATCH VIDEO: Alok Verma moves Supreme Court against government order to remove him as CBI Director
(With inputs from agencies)