Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the government decided to send CBiI Director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana on leave because they were bringing disrepute to the investigative agency.
“Govt of India was watching with amazement as to what the top officers were doing, they were fighting like cats,” Venugopal was quoted as saying referring to the public accusations of corruption the officers made against each other.
K.K. Venugopal said the government was forced to intervene because the concerned individuals could not keep their dispute in-house. “After carefully examining material made available to Centre and after deliberation over the issues, Centre was satisfied that a situation had arisen wherein Centre had to take action to divest Alok Verma,” he stated in the Supreme Court.” “Our objective was to ensure that public confidence in the institution is not eroded, so both officers were sent on leave,” he added.
The Attorney General further said that the government has the power of superintendence over the CBI and it acted within its jurisdiction.
The CBI feud was out in the open after the agency was reported to have raided its own headquarters. The Union government then decided to send CBI Director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana on leave and M Nageshwar Rao was appointed to take over the duties and functions of CBI director. A report also made its way to the media during the entire drama where it was alleged that the phones of NSA Ajit Doval were tapped by the agency.