Sacked CBI chief Alok Verma resigns, says natural justice was scuttled

Former CBI director Alok Verma, who was ousted from the agency by a high-powered selection committee on Thursday, 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.

NEW DELHI: Alok Verma, the first CBI director to be removed by a PM-led panel, refused to take up his next assignment and resigned from service on Friday. Verma, who was not allowed to represent before the three-member committee, said "natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director".

Verma complained that he had not been given an opportunity to present his side and the Central Vigilance Commission, or CVC's probe had largely gone by the statement of a police officer being probed for corruption, a reference to Rakesh Asthana who was his deputy at the CBI.

"This is a moment for collective introspection, to state the least," said Alok Verma, a1979-batch Indian Police Service officer.

Pointing to the decision of the committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove him from CBI director's post, Verma said the decision would "not just be a reflection on my functioning" but also "a testimony on how the CBI as an institution will be treated by any government".

He took a veiled swipe at the anti-corruption watchdog CVC as well, pointing that vigilance commissioners are "appointed by majority members of the ruling government". On Thursday, the Congress had also demanded that the central vigilance commissioner should quit after the Supreme Court's verdict this week setting aside the recommendation to move Verma out of the CBI.

Verma was last evening ordered to step down from the CBI chief's post and spend the next 20 days as director general, fire services and civil defence. His term as the CBI director was to end on January 31.

The senior police officer said he had turned 60 in July 2017 and was to continue till this month-end under the special provisions for the CBI director. Since he was no longer the CBI chief and had crossed the retirement age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence, the government should treat today as his date of retirement.

 

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