New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said the investigation against on-leave Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma must be completed within two weeks, media reports said.
The top court said this while hearing Verma’s plea against the Centre’s decision to send him on leave over his rift with deputy Rakesh Asthana.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi also said interim CBI chief M Nageswar Rao will be the administrative head of the federal probe agency but cannot take any policy decision.
All the decisions taken by Rao since Verma’s removal must be handed over to the top court, CJI Gogoi added.
The Centre on Wednesday midnight sent both Verma and the federal probe agency’s special director, Rakesh Asthana, on leave after the two were engaged in a rift.
In his petition, Verma said the autonomy of the CBI is compromised as certain investigations against high functionaries do not take the government’s desirable direction, NDTV reported.
The CBI on Monday arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police, Devender Kumar, in connection with a bribery case that laid bare the probe agency’s internal conflict.
The CBI said Kumar was arrested on charges of falsification of records in an ongoing investigation and said “the role of other officers of SIT (special investigation team) CBI, then supervising the Moin Qureshi case” was also being probed, reported Hindustan Times.
After bribery charges were slapped against him, Asthana in a written statement to the government said a “false FIR (First Information Report)” has been lodged against him”.
Asthana has been named by Satish Sana, a Hyderabad businessman, who was being investigated in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, arrested in a money laundering case, the report said.
Sana claimed he had to cough up a bribe of Rs. two crores to Rakesh Asthana over a period of over 10-months so that he is not named in the CBI case against Moin Qureshi.
However, Asthana rubbished the charges saying it was hurled against him owing to a conspiracy between the accuser and some CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers.
Astana, who moved the Delhi High court against the First Information Report (FIR) report lodged against him over the bribery case by his own organisation, bringing to fore an infighting within India’s premier federal investigation agency, will not be arrested till Monday.
Meanwhile, Asthana too moved the top court against his removal by the Centre.
India Blooms News Service