M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director with immediate effect, reported news agency ANI, on Wednesday.
Rao is a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Orissa cadre. He hails from Telangana's Warangal district.
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.
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.
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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.
(With inputs from agencies)