The crisis in India’s premier probe agency CBI worsened on Wednesday after the government issued a midnight order to send its chief Alok Verma, his deputy Rakesh Asthana and others on long leave.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed M Nageswar Rao as the new interim chief, who replaces Verma. The government said that Rao will ‘look after duties and functions of director CBI and shall take over the duties and functions with immediate effect.’
The government has sealed the offices of both Verma and Asthana and sent every single officer working their offices on leave too. This was after the CBI had raided its own headquarters to carry out searches of Asthana, the CBI’s special director and close confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
CBI Dy SP Ajay Kumar Bassi, who was leading the investigation against Asthana, has been transferred to Andaman and Nicobar Islands with immediate effect, reported Indian Express.
Asthana, according to the CBI, had accepted Rs 2 crore bribe to ensure a favourable settlement of the case against meat exporter Moeen Qureshi.
A news flash by news agency ANI said, “There will be no movement of officials or files at CBI Director’s office and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana’s office till 2 pm today (Wednesday).”
Asthana had moved the High Court against the FIR filed against CBI earlier this week. The court had later said that no action will be taken against Asthana until the next hearing.
The CBI had on Tuesday arrested Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was accused of having recorded false statements to implicate CBI Chief Alok Verma at the behest of Asthana.