Congress today convened a presser to express their disapproval on the removal of Alok Verma from the post of CBI director. Senior Congress leader Dr AM Singhvi claimed that Verma’s ouster was politically motivated and it was done to preclude Verma from disclosing the incriminating evidence that would expose the corruption in the Rafale deal.
— Congress Live (@INCIndiaLive) January 11, 2019
Dr AM Singhvi listed out the reasons why the Congress party thinks the act of removing Alok Verma was a desperate bid by the government to save itself from the ignominy of the Rafale scam. All the claims made by the Congress leader were lies, like what Rahul Gandhi has been doing all along. Let us systematically examine a few points expounded by Dr AM Singhvi and see if they hold water.
CVC has no locus standi in the appointment or removal of the CBI chief:-
Stating Congress’ stand on Verma’s removal, Dr AM Singhvi claimed that CVC has no authority to appoint or depose CBI chief. But what Mr Singhvi doesn’t seem to realise is that CVC merely presented its findings to the High Powered Committee chaired by Prime Minister Modi, also comprising opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Supreme Court judge Sikri who was representing the CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The order to transfer Verma was taken by this committee and not by the CVC. While reinstating Verma, the Supreme Court had said that only the high powered committee that selects the CBI Director can transfer or remove him, and accordingly the committee made the decision to transfer Verma. Pinning the blame on CVC and besmirching the reputation of an institution, Congress is simply trying to mislead the nation.
6 out of the 10 allegations made by CVC are considered unsubstantiated by CVC itself:-
CVC’s task was to carry out investigations on the case levelled against former CBI chief Alok Verma. It was not conferred with the power to pass the judgment. Based on their findings, a High Powered Committee which comprised of PM Modi, CJI Gogoi’s representative Justice Sikri and the opposition leader Mr Kharge, arrived at a conclusion they deemed appropriate of removing Verma from the position. By alleging that 6 out of the 10 allegations were unsubstantiated, Congress pasrty itself is agreeing that 4 charges are substantiated. Commenting on the CVC report, CJI Ranjan Gogoi had said while some findings were favourable for Verma, some others were not, while others needed a further probe.
It is also noteworthy to mention that until a few days back Congress had placed full faith in CVC’s integrity when it sought a CVC probe into Rafale allegations.
The final report made by the CVC observed grave allegations of serious nature against Alok Verma and called into question his integrity. The detailed observation report of CVC’s findings can be read here. The report incriminates Alok Verma for serious offences and not ‘unsubtantiated’ claims. In fact, there were also reports that the CBI was all set to file a corruption case against Alok Verma.
Rakesh Asthana was the reason behind Alok Verma’s removal:-
Another outrageous claim that Dr AM Singhvi made during the Congress presser was that the CBI special director Rakesh Asthana was behind Verma’s ouster. He contended that on the basis of allegations made by Asthana, the committee removed Alok Verma from the post of director, while the High Court dismissed Asthana’s petition and ordered the completion of the investigation against him in a time-bound manner. Dr Singhvi, a lawyer by profession, should realise that Verma’s ouster was rooted in the CVC findings and not based on the ‘allegations’ levelled against him by Rakesh Asthana.
Government desperate to save itself from incriminating Rafale details:-
Dr AM Singhvi went on to claim that the removal of CBI chief also points towards the desperation of the government for saving itself from the irregularities in the Rafale deal that Alok Verema would have divulged had he continued to be the Chief of CBI. This lie has already been demolished by Opindia when it was first raised by the opposition after the sudden dismissal of Alok Verma. CBI on its own cannot probe Rafale deal on its own, and CBI itself had clarified that it was not probing the deal. Moreover, the Supreme Court has already ruled that there is no need for an inquiry into the Rafale and had dismissed several petitions demanding the same.
All in all, the presser dwelled more on assumptions than on facts. To assume that Alok Verma would have exposed the ‘incongruencies’ in Rafale deal when the Supreme Court has already established that no wrongdoing has occurred in the deal is an overstretch. By repeatedly trotting out the same things over and over again, it appears that Congress wants to somehow keep the issue alive with little regards to the facts.