CVC initiates probe against CBI director Alok Verma; second-in-command Rakesh Asthana had filed complaint

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has started a fact-finding probe against CBI director Alok Verma based on a complaint filed by his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana, according to media reports.

According to CNN-News18, a CVC inquiry has been requested against Verma by a Cabinet Secretary after Asthana filed a complaint on 4 September. The CVC responded two days later stating that it would be initiating an inquiry as allegations were serious in nature. Verma has been cooperating with the CVC probe, sources told News18.

 CVC initiates probe against CBI director Alok Verma; second-in-command Rakesh Asthana had filed complaint

File image of Alok Verma. Getty images

As per due process, the CVC has initiated the preliminary task of examining facts of the allegations mentioned in the complaint and whether they are reasonable to launch any formal inquiry, reported The Economic Times. It is possible that after initial examination the matter can be dismissed.

Asthana had written a formal complaint to the Cabinet Secretary alleging that Verma sought to impede his functioning, interfere in investigations and malign his reputation based on unverified facts. As a special director heading Special Investigation Teams, Asthana is probing high profile corruption cases such as AugustaWestland and Kingfisher, among others.

According to The Economic Times report, Verma has dismissed the allegations as a "pack of lies".

Asthana also alleged that Verma had asked him to call off the planned raids against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Patna last year at the eleventh hour, despite the teams being ready. However, Asthana had stood his ground and carried out the raids.

There have been a series of differences between both the CBI officers over the last year. Reports of power tussle between Verma and Asthana surfaced in July when the CVC had given the go ahead for extending the tenure of some key officers in CBI who had worked closely in several high profile cases as part of Asthana’s team.

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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2018 14:57:26 IST