The CBI has overhauled the team probing allegations of corruption against its Special Director Rakesh Asthana, bringing in completely new faces, officials said on Wednesday. Transfers reflect changes made right from the investigation officer to supervisory levels, sources in CBI were quoted as saying by PTI. CBI DIG Tarun Gauba, SP Satish Dagar and Joint Director V Murugesan will now investigate charges against Asthana, ANI reported.
M Nageshwar Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, who took over the duties and functions of CBI director late on Tuesday night, appointed Dagar as Superintendent of Police to probe the case, officials said. Dagar has in the past probed cases against Dera Sachcha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. His first supervisor will be DIG Tarun Gauba, who had probed Vyapam cases.
At joint director-level, V Murugesan has been brought in. The Supreme Court had reposed faith in Murugesan in the coal scam probe, they said.
The previous investigating officer in the Asthana case, Deputy SP AK Bassi, has been shunted to Port Blair in "public interest", CNN-News18 reported. Bassi is also a key aide of former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma.
Asthana had alleged in his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission that Bassi was carrying out "roving inquiries" against him on the directions of Alok Verma, the CBI director who has been divested of all powers by the government along with him.
According to a transfer order from the CBI headquarters, he will begin working at his new cadre with immediate effect.
Through another order, officers who were a part of Bassi’s team were also transferred from their posts and others were brought in in their place:
CBI's JD (P)Arun Kumar Sharma, A Sai Manohar, HoZ V Murugesan and DIG Amit Kumar have been transferred/posted. They were a part of the team probing the case against CBI's Rakesh Asthana. pic.twitter.com/VWgI8KgkWU
— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
According to another report from CNN-News18, at least nine other officers working under Alok Verma have been transferred.
The move comes after Verma and CBI's second-in-command Rakesh Asthana – who has been accused by the CBI of bribery and extortion – were asked to go on leave. A press release from the government noted that the appointments committee of the cabinet has asked the agency’s joint director, M Nageshwar Rao, to hold temporary charge of the CBI.
Verma has moved the Supreme Court challenging his removal and the appointment of a new director. The court has listed the matter for hearing on Friday, ANI reported.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Oct 24, 2018 16:30 PM