Interim CBI Director M Nageshwar Rao has cancelled all transfer decisions taken by his ousted predecessor Alok Verma, reverting the position of officials as they were on 8 January, officials said.
The fresh order issued by Rao on Friday declared all the orders issued by Verma as "non est".
"...And consequently all actions in pursuance thereof by all concerned are also hereby declared as null and void. In other words, status-quo ante as on January 8, 2019 stands restored," the order accessed by PTI said.
Verma, had been very briefly reinstated by the Supreme Court by setting aside Centre's 28 October order sending him on leave. Verma had reversed the transfers ordered by the Centre and Rao since October 2018, when the agency's infighting became public. He had also appointed a new investigation officer to probe the case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
However, based on the decision taken by the Selection Committee — comprised of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice AK Sikri, and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge — Verma was removed from the office two days after the Supreme Court's verdict. The government gave the charge of the agency to Additional Director Rao who was also in-charge for 77 days when Verma and his deputy Asthana were on forced leave.
Rao took charge of the agency as its director on Friday, and reversed Verma's orders. In October 2018, after Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana had been divested of their powers and sent on forced leave, the then-interim director Rao had issued transfer orders for several of Verma's close aides, including those who were investigating Asthana in a bribery case.
The Supreme Court had earlier stopped Rao from taking any major policy decisions. However, no such condition applies on his present tenure.
While AK Bassi, DSP, who was investigating the Asthana case was transferred to Port Blair, Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG, was transferred to Nagpur. Anish Prasad DIG Special Unit was transferred to Administration department, AK Sharma, Joint Director Policy was transferred to MDMA Unit, and SS Gurm, Additional SP was transferred to Jabalpur.
On Thursday, Verma had ordered the transfers of Joint Director Ajay Bhatnagar, Sinha, Deputy Inspector General Tarun Gauba, Joint Director Murugesan and Sharma, according to reports. Verma issued two orders "withdrawing" almost all the transfers ordered by the CBI's additional director M Nageswar Rao on 24 October, 2018, and 3 January, 2019.
On Thursday, suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar, a co-accused in the Asthana bribery case, approached the Delhi High Court against Verma's decision to annul these transfers.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 11, 2019 15:18:06 IST