Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma on Thursday issued an order to transfer six more officials on the second day of his reinstatement, reported IANS. He had on Wednesday revoked most transfer orders issued between October 24 and January 8 by interim director Nageshwar Rao, who was in charge when Verma was sent on leave.
According to the new order, Deputy Inspector General MK Sinha will no more be part of the inquiry into the allegations of corruption against the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the Hindustan Times reported. He offered to recuse himself from the investigation, unidentified officials told PTI.
Sinha will now oversee Anti-Corruption Unit-I along with banking, securities and frauds cell, PTI reported.
Joint Director Ajay Bhatnagar, Deputy Inspector General Tarun Gauba, Joint Director Murugesan and Assistant Director AK Sharma have also received transfer orders from the agency headquarters, according to ANI.
Murugesan will continue to hold the post of joint director of Anti Corruption Unit-III, which is probing the case against Asthana, PTI reported. Verma also asked Gauba to continue supervising the investigation of the unit probing Asthana.
Later on Thursday, Verma was removed from the director’s post.
In November, Sinha had filed a petition in the Supreme Court accusing National Security Adviser Ajit Doval of interfering in investigations into Asthana. He had alleged that Doval knew two middlemen involved in the bribery case against Asthana.
The investigating agency has been mired in controversy since the Centre relieved both CBI Director Alok Verma and Asthana of their duties after they traded charges of corruption and interference in several cases. The tussle came to light on October 15 after the agency named Asthana in a First Information Report for allegedly accepting bribes from Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is an accused in multiple graft cases. Asthana, in turn, accused Verma of trying to falsely implicate him and levelled corruption charges against him.
Meanwhile, suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar moved the Delhi High Court against Verma’s decision to revoke transfer orders issued by Rao. The Delhi High Court may hear the plea on Friday. The officer has asked the court not to allow Verma and other officers who have been recently transferred to deal with the first information report against him and others.