18:52 (IST)Institutional freedom facing serious threat under PM, says MK Stalin
18:35 (IST)Greater damage done to PM than CBI, says MP Gaurav Gogoi
18:22 (IST)Can't speak to anyone, says CVC KV Chaudhary
17:45 (IST)CBI working normally, says agency spokesperson Team probing Rakesh Asthana’s case has been reconstituted for a fair, impartial and expeditious probe, the agency spokesperson told ANI. We have put the best available resources in the reconstituted team.
17:35 (IST)Rahul Gandhi accuses PM of 'removing' CBI director to stop Rafale investigation
17:30 (IST)Whatever investigation required is being done, says CBI spokesperson
17:27 (IST)Here is the full CVC order on the removal of Alok Kumar: }
16:59 (IST)Team probing Rakesh Asthana's case reconstituted for fair probe: CBI "Team probing Rakesh Asthana’s case has been reconstituted for a fair, impartial and expeditious probe. We have put available best resources in the reconstituted team," ANI quoted a CBI spokesperson as saying.
16:43 (IST)Alok Verma loyalists shunted out Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG AC-III, transferred to Nagpur Anish Prasad, DIG Special Unit, transferred to Administration department AK Sharma, Joint Director Policy, transferred to MDMA Unit AK Bassi, Deputy SP CBI ACIII, transferred to Port Blair SS Gurm, Additional SP AC-III, transferred to Jabalpur Those who have been brought in/handed over additional charge of sensitive divisions Tarun Gauba made the new DIG, ACIII Jasbir Singh to hold additional charge as head of division probing banking fraud KR Chaurasia, DIG Economic Offences Wing, to hold additional charge of Special Unit-I5 Satish Dagar, SP Economic Offences Wing-III, will now hold the position as SP AC-III A Sai Manohar, Joint Director, has been brought in to handle charge of Special Investigation Team handling big-ticket corruption cases. V Murugesan, Joint Director, to handle Anti-Corruption Unit I Amit Kumar, currently DIG Economic Offences Wing-III, will hold additional Charge of Policy division.
16:25 (IST)Read the full text of Alok Verma's petition in the Supreme Court here: }
16:24 (IST)Centre responsible for problems in CBI: Mayawati BSP president Mayawati on Wednesday blamed the Centre for the state of affairs in the CBI and said other institutions are also facing similar problems because of the wrong policies being pursued by the government. "More than the officials, it is the central government which is responsible for the problems in the CBI," Mayawati said in a statement. She said the Centre's "vindictive, casteist and communal policies" have put not only the CBI, but also other agencies under similar threat. Cases like those involving Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and the Rafale deal are blots on the BJP-led government's rule and they have not been probed properly, she said. However, she added, the ruling party misuses official machinery to target anti-BJP parties and institutions. — PTI
16:17 (IST)Govt removed CBI chief to protect handpicked officer: CPM The CPM claimed that the government was panicked by the feud between the director and the special director of the CBI and removed the agency's chief to protect its 'handpicked' officer.
16:09 (IST)Centre's decision against SC directions for independent CBI: Alok Verma "Law mandates secured two-year tenure of CBI director to ensure independence. Decision of transfer of CBI director rests with high-powered Committee. Centre's decision goes against Supreme Court directions for an independent CBI," ANI quoted Verma as saying in his petition to the Supreme Court. Reports have also said that Verma's petition in the Supreme Court also refers to some investigations that did not go the way the government wanted them to go.
15:53 (IST)Alok Verma in petition to Supreme Court calls CVC action against him 'illegal' "Government's action is patently illegal," Verma said in his petition to the Supreme Court. The petition also said that a CBI director has a fixed tenure of two years. Verma has sought a stay on the government's action. The Supreme Court will hear Verma's petition on Friday.
15:42 (IST)CVC issues statement on internal feud within CBI "The grave allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another, which has been widely reported in media, has vitiated the official eco-system of the organization. The environment of faction feud has reached its peak in the CBI leading to a potential loss of credibility and reputation of the Agency," the statement said. "Despite repeated assurances and reminders, the Director, CBI failed to furnish the records / files before the Commission. The CVC has observed that Director, CBI has not been cooperating in making available records / files sought by the Commission relating to serious allegations.The CVC has also observed that the Director, CBI has been non-cooperative with the Commission, non-compliant with the requirements/directions of the Commission and has created willful obstructions in the functioning of the Commission which is a Constitutional body," the statement further said.
15:17 (IST)Petition filed in Bombay HC to set up a SIT for investigating the CBI vs CBI case A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an investigation into the Alok Verma - Rakesh Asthana issue. The petition also demands that a retired Supreme Court judge is in the SIT, ANI reported.
15:12 (IST)Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana divested due to 'an extraordinary and unprecedented situation', says Centre According to a government press release accessed by News18, the government took the decision to divest the CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana of all charges after being satisfied that an extraordinary and unprecedented situation has arisen, says a government press release. It says that Verma did not cooperate with the CVC in handling the serious allegation levelled against the senior functionaries and instead put allegations on each other which vitiated the official ecosystem of the organisation.
15:04 (IST)CBI director was served three notices but he refused to cooperate, says CVC The CBI Director was served three notices but he did not reply to any of those and was non-cooperative. Thus, "extraordinary circumstances have led to the CVC action", CNN News18 reported.
15:01 (IST)Asking Alok Verma to go on forced leave akin to his removal which is 'illegal' Apart from the fact that the CBI chief serves a fixed two-year tenure, the landmark in the 1998 Supreme Court case of Vineet Narain & Others vs Union of India states that the transfer of “an incumbent director, CBI, in an extraordinary situation, including the need for him to take up a more important assignment, should have the approval of the selection committee”, The Print's report stated. The CBI chief can’t be removed without a proper inquiry and sending him on a forced leave is akin to removal. Also, Verma has so far not been booked under any case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and thus the powers of the CVC being limited to the investigation of offences under the Act, do not apply to his case, the report said
14:25 (IST)M Nageshwar Rao first IG level officer ever to head CBI According to a report in The Wire, M Nageshwar Rao, the interim chief of CBI is the first IG rank official to have taken over the reins of the premium investigating agency. The report says that Alok Verma wanted to initiate enquiry against Rao too, but his attempts were resisted by CVC KV Chowdary.
14:08 (IST)By removing Alok Verma, PM warned all officials to stay away from Rafale deal Congress president Rahul Gandhi also attacked the government while speaking at a rally in Rajasthan's Jhalavar. He said that the CBI director was seeking papers on Rafale scam, which is why he was removed from the post last night. He said that in doing so, the prime minister has warned all officers in investigating agencies that anyone who comes near probing the alleged scam, will end up losing their post.
13:54 (IST)CBI reshuffles team probing case against Asthana The Centre, which on Wednesday virtually sacked CBI Director Alok Verma by asking him to go on leave, also transferred as many as 13 officers of the agency, shunting out almost all those in Vermas team which was probing bribery charges against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana. According to sources, 13 CBI officers, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Bassi, who was investigating the charges against Asthana were transferred. Bassi has been transferred to Port Blair with immediate effect in "public interest".
13:46 (IST)CVC's letter to AAP MP Sanjay Singh indicates a probe in Rafale controversy was in the offing AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh had written to the CVC alleging irregularities in the Rafale deal, and had requested for a probe. Firstpost obtained the CVC's response to the MP. In his letter, the CVC said that he has taken note of the issue raised and the same would be forwarded to the Ministry of Defence.
13:36 (IST)Has Alok Verma been sacked for his keenness to probe Rafale scam, asks Congress The Congress Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of interfering in the working of the CBI and wondered if its Director Alok Verma was "sacked" for his keenness to probe the "layers of corruption" in the Rafale scam. “Systematic dismantling and denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI's integrity, credibility and reliability is 'buried and dead',” Surjewala wrote on Twitter. “Has the CBI Director been sacked for his keenness to probe the layers of corruption in Rafale Scam? Isn't the rest a shoddy cover up? Let PM answer,” he said in another tweet.
13:34 (IST)CBI BJP's personal policing agency, says West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the CBI has become the BJP's policing agency. The Trinamool Congress chief's remarks come amid the ongoing spat between two top officers of the agency. "CBI has now become so called BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation) - very unfortunate!" Banerjee tweeted. The government has divested CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana of all powers amid the ongoing spat between them, sources said, calling it the first such case in the history of the agency. The prime minister-led Appointments Committee Tuesday night gave charge of the director to Joint Director M Nageshwara Rao with immediate effect, a government order said.
13:30 (IST)CVC usurped power to appoint a new CBI director, says Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi Abhishek Manu Singhvi charged the government of trying to misuse the office of the CVC to appoint the interim director. He said that the CVC had no authority to appoint a new CBI director in the interim without the approval of selection committee. The selection committee, by law should constitute of, the prime minister, Leader of Opposition or the leader of single largest party, and the Chief Justice of India (or any other SC judge nominated by him).
13:23 (IST)Congress attacks govt, says govt ignored law to dismiss CBI chief Now, the Congress has mounted an attack on the government, saying that the move to send Alok Verma on leave was unconstitutional. "The Modi-Shah government has put several of the country's institutions in the ICU by illegal means," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said at a press conference in New Delhi.
13:20 (IST)BJP sacked Alok Verma to escape Rafale phobia: Congress Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that by forcing Alok Verma to go on leave, the BJP is trying to escape its Rafale Phobia and is trying to keep its secret sealed.
13:01 (IST)Systematic dismantling of CBI is complete: Randeep Surjewala
12:59 (IST)Subramanian Swamy defends Rakesh Asthana, says Joint Director was first to approach CVC
12:51 (IST)CBI has been politicised, says Veerappa Moily Accusing the BJP government of politicising the Central Bureau of Investigation, Congress leader Veerappa Moily said that the government has demolished another agency. "CBI has beenpoliticised. It is PMO that has misused this agency. It is not the only agency that has been demolished by NDA and PM (Narendra) Modi. The CBI has lost its credibility; and the act of appointment and removal by the government is very arrogant," he said.
12:44 (IST)V Murgesan to handle investigation into FIR against Rakesh Asthana CBI SP Satish Dagar, who has been transferred to Anti Corruption unit III, DIG Tarun Gauba now heading the ACIII unit and Joint Director V Murugesan, now holding additional charge of Anti Corruption unit will handle the investigation into FIR filed against Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
12:40 (IST)Govt can't investigate allegations against top 2 CBI officers: Arun Jaitley
12:38 (IST)Maintaining institutional integrity of CBI absolutely essential for fair investigation: Arun Jaitley
12:37 (IST)Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana ordered to go on leave for fair investigation: Arun Jaitley Clarifying the allegations raised against the Narendra Modi government by Opposition leaders over the sudden transfer of officials and the CBI director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana being asked to go on leave, Arun Jaitley said there transfer is an interim but necessary measure. "Neither these two officers (Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana) nor any agency under their supervision can investigate charges against them. So the officers will sit out by going on leave. It's an interim measure," he said.
12:33 (IST)For the integrity of investigation agencies, officers involved must come out: Arun Jaitley "The integrity of India's investigation agencies has to be maintained. And therefore, the officers under the cloud have to be come out, purely as an interim matter," said Arun Jaitley.
12:31 (IST)'CVC has the power of superintendence,' says Arun Jaitley "This is an extraordinary and as per the power invested in the CVC, it has the power to investigate and maintain the fairness of the investigation," Arun Jaitley said. He said that since both the officials have been accused of corruption they can not investigate the allegations. "So, to maintain the sanctity of the CBI, the two officers will go on leave. And an SIT not presided by the two officers will investigate the allegations made by both of them," he said. "According to the CBI act, the CVC has the power of superintendence in cases related to corruption. Now who will do the investigation, who will do it. and how it will be done is done as per CrPC. But whether in an investigation is done properly, the CVC can watch over it under its superintendence," says Arun Jaitley.
12:22 (IST)WATCH: 'Important to maintain integrity of CBI,' says Arun Jaitley briefs media after Union Cabinet meeting
12:20 (IST)'Modi govt has conducted political coup against CBI,' says Sitaram Yechury Reacting to the transfer of CBI officers after M Nageshwar Rao took over the investigation agency, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury accused the government of conducting a political coup to take over the Central Bureau of Investigation. "The (Narendra) Modi govt and the prime minister have conducted a political coup against the CBI. They have conducted transfer of all the officers and directors, and the main objective appears to be to protect the chosen officers of the prime minister posted at CBI," he told ANI. He added: "We don't know if CBI was investigating other issues like Rafale scam. If that was the case, it was ordered to protect the govt, the prime minister and concerned officers. Why was the DIG investigating the charges against Asthana has been sent to 'Kala Pani' in Andaman?" Yechury said.
12:15 (IST)'In an extraordinary situation, the government has full authority to act," says Vikas Singh, former ASG
12:13 (IST)Is there a co-realtion between Rafale deal and Alok Verma, asks Arvind Kejriwal
12:11 (IST)Arvind Kejriwal takes potshot at Centre
12:10 (IST)CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar Sharma, A Sai Manohar, Head of Zone V Murugesan and DIG Amit Kumar among those transferred
12:03 (IST)13 CBI officials including three investigating Rakesh Asthana bribery case transferred Massive shakeup in CBI after M Nageshwar Rao takes over of the bureau. Rao has ordered trasnfer of 13 CBI officers including three who were investigation the Rakesh Asthana bribery case. Investigating offier Ajay Bassi, Joint Director Arun Sharma and DIG Manish Sinha are among those who have been transferred.
11:49 (IST)'Totally illegal. Will be challenged,' Prashant Bhushan on sidelining CBI director Alok Verma
11:45 (IST)Sidelined CBI director Alok Verma's decision to entertain complaint on Rafale deal led to his removal, claims Prashant Bhushan
11:33 (IST)DSP Ajay Bassi to take charge of CBI's ACB in Port Blair
11:17 (IST)Ajay Bassi, who was investigatign Asthana bribery case, transferred to Port Blair Deputy Superintendent of Police Ajay Bassi, who was investigating the Rakesh Asthana bribery case has been transferred to Port Blair, reports said. An FIR was filed against Asthana on 15 October alleging that kickbacks were received by a middleman on behalf of Asthana to scuttle a probe in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case. Though Asthana was granted interim relief from arrest in the 15 October FIR by the Delhi High Court, the court said investigation in the bribery case will continue. Bassi was investigating the case.
11:10 (IST)RECAP: Alok Verma divested of powers; M Nageshwar Rao to take over In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao was asked to take over. Verma The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other. Verma has moved the SC against th ACC order, which has agreed to hear it on Friday.
CBI versus CBI row LATEST updates: A CBI spokesperson has said that the agency reconstituted the team probing Rakesh Asthana's case for a fair investigation.
Alok Verma in a petition to the Supreme Court has said that the government's action against him is illegal.
According to a government press release accessed by News18, the government took the decision to divest the CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana of all charges after being satisfied that an extraordinary and unprecedented situation has arisen, says a government press release.
A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an investigation into the Alok Verma - Rakesh Asthana issue. The petition also demands that a retired Supreme Court judge is in the SIT, ANI reported.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also attacked the government while speaking at a rally in Rajasthan's Jhalavar. He said that the CBI director was seeking papers on Rafale scam, which is why he was removed from the post last night. He said that in doing so, the prime minister has warned all officers in investigating agencies that anyone who comes near probing the alleged scam, will end up losing their post.
The Congress Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of interfering in the working of the CBI and wondered if its Director Alok Verma was "sacked" for his keenness to probe the "layers of corruption" in the Rafale scam.
Arun Jaitley rubbished allegations levelled by three opposition parties, the Congress, AAP and CPM and said that they were not worthy of his comment. He asked whether the Opposition parties were claiming to know what runs in the mind of an officer of CBI.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Ajay Bassi, who was investigating the Special Director Rakesh Asthana bribery case has been transferred to Port Blair, reports said.
An FIR was filed against Asthana on 15 October alleging that kickbacks were received by a middleman on behalf of Asthana to scuttle a probe in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case. Though Asthana was granted interim relief from arrest in the 15 October FIR by the Delhi High Court, the court said investigation in the bribery case will continue. Bassi was investigating the case.
The decision was announced soon after CBI director Alok Verma moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) order divesting the CBI director of his charge of the investigation agency and asking Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao to take over.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Verma's petition on 26 October.
According to IANS, the ACC took the decision past midnight as war between Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.
"The ACC has approved that during the period of the subsistence of the aforesaid interim measure, cited in reference above, M Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI, shall look after duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over the duties and functions with immediate effect," the official statement said.
The decision came after Asthana was divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday.
The government appeared to be peeved over the war at the top in the country's premiere probe agency and took the action as he could not be sacked straight away.
Verma was appointed as CBI Director for two years and his tenure ends in December.
The CBI on Tuesday suspended its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
It also added five new sections into the existing bribery FIR lodged against its Special Director.
Kumar is an Investigating Officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption. A trial court on Tuesday sent Kumar to CBI custody for seven days.
Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana who was under probe in the Qureshi case in order to "wreck" the investigation.
The case was being examined by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Asthana.
The CBI has said that there was "no change in responsibilities" of the the second-in-command so far.
With inputs from agencies
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.