The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday rejected news reports and Opposition claims that files related to several crucial cases, including the Rafale aircraft deal between India and France, was under the consideration of Director Alok Verma, PTI reported. The Centre divested Verma of his powers late on Tuesday night in the wake of a tussle between him and the agency’s second-in-command Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
“This is being manufactured by vested interests,” said the agency’s spokesperson Abhishek Dayal. “Every file in the CBI at each level is accounted for.”
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Union minister Arun Shourie met Verma on October 4 and submitted a detailed complaint to him regarding alleged irregularities in the Rafale defence deal. They urged the CBI director to initiate an investigation, alleging that an offset contract awarded to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence under the deal was a commission.
On August 8, Bhushan, Shourie and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha released a joint statement alleging that the deal “imperils national security”. The three said the contradictory statements of union ministers, the handing of the offset contract to Reliance Defence and the “gross misuse of friendly media to purvey falsehood” had convinced them that “there is a major scandal here, gross misuse of office, and monumental criminal misconduct”.
“Sinha, Shourie and I file a petition in SC for a court-monitored CBI investigation into Rafale deal,” Bhushan tweeted on Wednesday. “There is enormous pressure on the CBI not to embark upon any Investigation on our complaint. That’s perhaps another reason for replacing the CBI director.”