Verma did not give info on Asthana: CVC

Verma did not give info on Asthana: CVC

Alok Verma. PTI file Photo

CBI Director Alok Verma shared a "secret note" objecting to the proposal to promote Rakesh Asthana as Special Director in September 2017 but "did not submit" the information sought by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in connection with the allegations for the past ten months.

This and other charges form part of the eight-page CVC order issued on Wednesday which "divested" Verma of charges of CBI Director and prevented him from exercising "any function, power, duty and supervisory role" in cases already registered or are required to be registered.

The CVC said that Verma has "not been cooperating in making available records/files sought by the Commission relating to certain serious allegations... Opportunities have been given for producing such records... Despite repeated assurances, the records/files have not been submitted". It went on to say that the actions by Verma established "wilfull obstruction" of CVC's functioning.

Detailing the sequence of events, it said that Cabinet Secertary P K Sinha forwarded a complaint to the CVC which claimed that Verma received Rs two crore bribe from one Satish Babu Sana in a case related to controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

It also claimed that Verma interfered in the probe against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and even tried to derail a raid in Patna in IRCTC case.

While the CVC did not disclose who was the complainant citing the need for keeping his name confidential, sources had earlier said Asthana had filed the complaint.

Acting on the complaint, the CVC asked Verma to produce files related to the case on September 14 but the agency did not submit any till Tuesday.

Instead on September 18, the CBI referred to the secret note submitted Verma in October 2017 against Asthana and said the concerns expressed on the integrity in it "turned out to be true".

The CBI also informed that the CVC that it has found evidence of Asthana's misconduct in at least six cases and he was aware that the agency was in possession of evidences against him.

With the CBI referring to Asthana as the complainant, the CVC said it clarified that it cannot disclose the complainant's identity and verification of contents was "more important" and sought all documents related to the case.

"It is presumptive on the part of the CBI to state that a particular person has made the complaint... Content of allegations made in the complaint is more important than the identity of the complainant," it said.

The CVC went on to say that it had sought a report on Verma's secret note, which the CBI referred during its response to allegations against the CBI Director, in November last year itself and that the "matter could be taken to logical conclusion only after receipt of report from CBI".

It sent a letter to Verma again on September 25 that the report on the secret not has not been received even after the lapse of ten months.

Verma also did not attend a meeting called on October 3 to discuss the representations by Asthana against him.

The CVC order also mentions that Asthana approached the body at least four times since October 15 after CBI registered a case against him, which was registered on the basis of Sana's complaint, "reiterating his earlier apprehensions and seeking remedies".

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