CBI second-in-command complains against chief

CBI second-in-command complains against chief

Rakesh Asthana

NEW DELHI, DHNS: The power tussle within the top rungs of CBI have intensified with second-in-command Rakesh Asthana shooting a complaint against its chief Alok Verma to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and agency officially rubbishing it as "malicious" and "frivolous".

In his complaint, Asthana has claimed that Verma has put roadblocks in his functioning, interfered in investigations and sought to malign his reputation. He also alleged that the CBI director asked Asthana to call off raids against RJD chief Lalu Prasad in Patna last year in the IRCTC land case.

Both the officers were at loggerheads for long time as Verma had earlier opposed the promotion of Ashtana, who was government's initial choice for CBI chief's post, as additional director citing that his name has cropped up in some cases. Earlier this year, Verma also informed CVC that Asthana could not represent him in matters of appointment of officers in the agency.

In its reaction, the CBI said,"it is unfortunate that baseless and frivolous allegations are being made publicly without proper verification of facts to malign the image of the Director CBI and intimidate the officials of the organisation."

While admitting that the CVC has sought some files regarding the complaint, it said the CBI's Chief Vigilance Officer pointed out that the complaint is an "attempt by the complainant to intimidate" the agency's officers who are investigating his role in at least half a dozen cases.

It said, "the CVC should opine on the maintainability of the complaint and consider it malicious and frivolous in order to protect the integrity of the organisation".

"Irrespective of the maintainability of the complaint, the CBI has provided most of the files as requested by the CVC and the remaining will be submitted soon. There is no substance in the media reports that the CBI is not cooperating in the enquiry," the CBI statement said.

On the allegation that Verma dissuaded raids against Prasad, it was "absolutely false". "The investigation of the case has resulted in filing a chargesheet before the designated court. This could not have been possible without the explicit approval of the CBI director."

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox