After CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana was sent on leave, the opposition parties and left-wing activists have gone on overdrive in defending the Director. Congress party has alleged that Verma was going to investigate the Rafale deal and that’s why the government has ‘transferred’ him. Several activists have claimed that CBI Director has a ‘collegium protected tenure’ and the central government can’t sack him. Prashant Bhushan claims PM has no authority to send CBI director on leave as his tenure is protected.
What PM couldn’t do directly by removing the CBI director & his collegaues, he has done surreptitiously & in clandestine fashion by taking shelter behind CVC. Has CBI director been transferred because he was about to order a probe into Rafale corruption:Randeep Surjewala,Congress pic.twitter.com/33OzywtOyw
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
The claim that the government has removed Alok Verma is false. The CBI director has been sent only on leave, along with number two in the agency Special Director Rakesh Asthana. It is interesting that while people like Prashant Bhushan were opposing the appointment of Asthana by the Modi government, and even filed a PIL at SC against the appointment, are supporting Verma now. This clearly shows that in this ugly fight inside the CBI, the opposition parties and left liberals have taken a clear side. They have deliberately ignored the fact that Rakesh Asthana also has been sent on leave, and offices of both the officers were sealed.
Let us be very clear—There is NO equivalence between CBI director Alok Verma, who has a protected tenure, and Rakesh Asthana against whom there is an FIR. This is NOT a civil war within the CBI, this is an attack by Modi government on CBI’s independence. https://t.co/HRJNvcbcGY
— Siddharth (@svaradarajan) October 24, 2018
Instead of suspending Rakesh Asthana, it seems that the PM is trying to send the CBI Director Verma on leave! PM has no authority to send CBI director on leave as his tenure is protected. It is not CBI vs CBI. It is CBI versus a corrupt officer planted in the CBI by the PMO. https://t.co/b1PH5h1WgC
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) October 23, 2018
It is important to remember that there are allegations of corruption against both the top officers of CBI, and both the allegations must be investigated fairly. As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, CBI is the premier investigating institution in the country, and there can’t be any doubt about the integrity of the agency. Not only in India, but in other countries also CBI’s reputation must be spotless.
As there are serious allegations against both the officers, impartial investigation into them is a must. If the officers continue in their jobs, that would not be possible. The officers can not supervise investigations against themselves, that would be a mockery of the process. That’s why both the director and special director has been sent on leave so that an impartial investigation can be ensured. The government has not sacked Alok Verma, only sent on a leave, so violating his fixed 2-year term does not arise. After the Lokpal Act was passed, the appointment of CBI director is now governed by this act, according to which a panel comprising Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition selects the CBI Director. But the functioning of the agency still comes under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, under which CBI was formed.
According to the finance minister, the CVC had recommended under the CVC Act and DSPE Act that the investigations cannot be conducted by the concerned two officers or under the supervision of them. That’s why it was decided that for the institutional integrity of CBI, and to maintain fairness in investigations, the two officers will sit out of CBI till the time the investigation is completed, as an interim measure.
Sources close to Alok Verma say he was about to order a preliminary inquiry into charges in the Rafale deal. They believe this is part of the reason a mid-night coup was initiated against him.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) October 24, 2018
Referring to conspiracy theories that CBI director was going to investigate the Rafale deal, Arun Jaitley said that this also casts a serious doubt. He said that if the accusation is true, that means the opposition parties and activists have access to future plans of CBI director, and that raises a big question on the integrity of the person. Even Rahul Gandhi tweeted the same allegation, which points towards the probable existence of a Congress informer inside CBI. And if they are not getting inside information, that would mean the allegation is untrue and baseless.
PM removed the CBI Director to stop him from investigating Rafale.
Mr 56 broke the law when he bypassed CJI & LOP.
Mr Modi, Rafale is a deadly aircraft with a superb radar. You can run, but you can’t hide from It.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 24, 2018
It is important to note that no case of Rafale deal was allotted to CBI, and nobody from CBI had announced that they are probing the deal. If the Congress party and left-wing activists have access to confidential information from CBI, that is actually a big issue.