New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 24
: There is a lot of drama going on within the CBI. In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was asked to take over. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as a war between Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.
Verma was appointed as CBI Director for two years and his tenure ends in December. The CBI on Tuesday suspended its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
It also added five new sections into the existing bribery FIR lodged against its Special Director. Kumar is an Investigating Officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption. A trial court on Tuesday sent Kumar to CBI custody for seven days.
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 the top 10 developments in the sensational case which has caught the attention of the world
1. The internal squabble in the Central Bureau of Investigation is shocking and unprecedented in the history of the country's premier investigation agency, former officials of the probe agency said.
2. There will be no movement of officials or files at Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma's office and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana's office till 2 pm today, say agency sources.
3. The Central Bureau of Investigation building has been sealed, neither staff nor outsiders are being allowed, says PTI.
4. M Nageshwar Rao takes charge as interim Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director. No room at CBI headquarters has been sealed: CBI spokesperson
5. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, lawyer appearing for Alok Verma, told Supreme Court that the central government in the morning, asked Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana to go on leave compromising the investigation into many sensitive cases.
6. Union council of ministers meeting is underway: A meeting of the Union council of ministers is underway at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, the official residence of the prime minister, against the backdrop of the divesting of powers of the top two officers in the Central Bureau of Investigation.
7. Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma has moved the Supreme Court, challenging his removal as illegal. Verma's petition accepted by the Supreme Court and is likely to be heard on October 26.
8. Center calls these moves as interin measure
9. According to reports a media briefing by Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad will follow at 12 noon.
10. There will be no movement of officials or files at both the offices till 2 pm today, said agency sources. Both Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana's office being searched.