New Delhi, January 10: Alok Verma was removed as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief by the selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was held to discuss charges against the former chief of the country’s premier investigative agency. The other two members of the panel were Justice A.K. Sikri and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. Verma has now been transferred as DG to Fire Services, Civil Defence, and Home Guards. Rakesh Asthana Bribery Case: CBI Arrests Officer Devender Kumar For Fabricating Statement Against Director Alok Kumar Verma.

The panel discussed the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) report on the bribery and graft charges against Verma. For the time being, CBI Additional Director, M. Nageshwar Rao will look after the duties of the Director, CBI.  According to reports, Kharge opposed the removal of the former CBI director and demanded another chance for him. However, PM Modi and Justice Sikri were in favour of sacking Verma as CBI chief. CBI vs CBI Battle Explained: Why Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Asthana are at Loggerheads? How it All Started.

According to ANI, The panel took into account the extremely serious nature of observations made by the  Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) against Verma. The panel was of the view, that being the head of a very sensitive organisation, Verma was not functioning with the integrity expected of him.

The CVC in its report found an evidence of influencing of investigation in Moin Qureshi case, reported the news agency. As per the CVC, there was also proof of taking of bribe of Rs. 2 crore. The commission claimed that Verma's conduct in the case is suspicious, and there is a prima facie case against him. As per reports, in the IRCTC case, the CVC felt it can be reasonably concluded that Alok Verma deliberately excluded a name from FIR, for reasons best known to him and it also found evidence against him in several other cases as well. Verma was also accused of wilful non-production of record.

The selection panel also took note of Verma's attempts to induct officers of doubtful integrity. In response to the insinuation that he was not given a chance to be heard, the panel said that he was given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC, in the presence of Retd. Justice Patnaik.

Verma was removed as CBI chief just two days after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court. The top court set aside the Centre's decision to divest him of his powers, but restrained him from taking any major policy decision till the CVC probe into corruption charges against him is over. The apex court said any further decision against Verma, who was sent on leave following the Centre's October 23 decision and retires on January 31, would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI director.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 10, 2019 10:47 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website