It has only been a day since CBI Director Alok Verma was ousted from his post by a High Powered Panel comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice Sikri (nominee of Chief Justice Gogoi) and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who was the dissenting panel member. The Panel had transferred him as DG of Fire Services since the panel did not have the authority to fire him. Now, it has emerged that Alok Verma has refused to take charge as the DG of Fire Services.
In a letter, Alok Verma has written that he was not given the opportunity to be heard by the panel before his ouster as the CBI Director, and hence, the natural process of Justice was turned upside down. He says that the entire CVC report is based on one complainant who is currently under investigation by the CBI itself. The letter states that the CVC only produced a signed copy of the complaint and the complainant never appeared in front of Justice Patnaik who was supervising the inquiry.
He then casts aspersions on the Government saying that institutions are the most visible symbol of democracy and that the CBI is the most reputed one. He says his ouster reflects poorly since it shows that the government of the day can treat an institution in this manner by majority members of the ruling government. Almost grandstanding, he says that the State needs to introspect.
He then goes on to list his career appointments saying that he has always aimed to serve. Then he says that he was serving as the Director of CBI only till 31st January 2019 as it was a fixed tenure role. He says that he is no longer the Director of CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards and hence, he should be considered as superannuated from immediate effect.
There are serious charges and allegations of corruption against Alok Verma owing to which he was ousted as the Director of CBI. Among other charges, he was accused of diluting the Look Out Circulars against Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. He was also accused of leaking sensitive documents pertaining to the Nirav Modi case and of fabricating documents to frame Rakesh Asthana, the Special Director CBI who is also on forced leave by the Modi government.
As for Alok Verma not being given the chance to be heard, Former Judge Markandey Katju had posted the entire explanation as to why Justice Sikri too agreed to oust Alok Verma and Verma was not given the opportunity to be heard.
He had written that it is a settled principle that even suspension can be done without giving the accused a hearing and suspensions pending inquiry are very common. It is only dismissal that cannot be done without hearing. Alok Verma has not even been suspended and has only been transferred to an equivalent post, hence, giving him a chance to be heard was not needed. However, Alok Verma, being fully aware of the procedure has chosen to turn this entire affair into a fiasco.
Congress leader Kharge argued that the Central Vigilance Commission report lacked “substantial findings” against him. He also said Alok Verma’s tenure should be extended since he lost 77 days after being “illegally’ transferred”. Kharge also demanded that an “independent inquiry” into the removal of Alok Verma.
Kharge had also brought up the Rafale bogey to say that Alok Verma was ousted because he wanted to “investigate” the Rafale deal which got a clean chit by the Supreme Court. However, this bogey is useless, considering the CBI cannot investigate defence deals unless the Court or the Government orders one. There were also reports that emerged that the CBI was all set to file a corruption case against Alok Verma. The Congress ecosystem has been since trying to protect Alok Verma and cast aspersions on the government, reeking of a larger agenda.