Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma, who was sent on leave late on Tuesday night, moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the Centre’s decision. The top court said it will hear his petition on Friday, Live Law reported.
The Centre had sent Verma and his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana on leave late on Tuesday and appointed M Nageshwar Rao the interim director. Verma and Asthana have been involved in a tussle at the premier investigating agency for months.
Last week, the CBI named Asthana in a First Information Report in a bribery case. He was accused of accepting a Rs 2-crore bribe to scuttle an investigation into businessman Moin Qureshi, allegedly involved in multiple corruption cases.
In August, Asthana had accused Verma of illegal activity, and reportedly approached the Central Vigilance Commission, accusing him of interference in investigations. The CBI called Asthana’s complaint malicious and frivolous, and said it was an attempt to intimidate officers investigating Asthana’s role in some cases.
Asthana also claimed Verma was trying to falsely implicate him. He reportedly alleged that Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Sathish Babu, who is an accused in the case, had claimed that it was Verma who was paid the Rs 2-crore bribe.
On Tuesday, Asthana moved the Delhi High Court to get the case against him quashed. The court said no coercive action can be taken against him till October 29.
The fight between Verma and Asthana had started in 2017, when Verma objected to Asthana’s appointment to the agency as he was under investigation in the Sterling Biotech case.