Nageswara Rao Assumes Charge as CBI Director, Day After Alok Verma's Removal by PM Modi-Headed Selection Panel
File image of CBI interim director M Nageswara Rao | (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi, January 11: IPS M Nageswara Rao, who was the interim CBI chief for over a two-month period, has been appointed as the premier investigating agency's director. The 1986-cadre officer from Odisha was inducted into the CBI in March 2016, and was assigned the rank of additional director.

Verma was ousted as the CBI director on Thursday, when the high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to remove him citing the charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. His sacking was an unprecedented action in the central probe agency's 55-year history. Alok Verma Breaks Silence on His Transfer, Says 'Attempts Being Made to Destroy CBI'.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said during the meeting that Verma, who was sent on a forced leave, should not be penalised and be given an extension of 77 days for which he was not allowed to attend the office.

This is the second time Kharge has objected to Verma's removal. Incidently, he had earlier objected to his appointment too.

Kharge told other panel members that in his opinion Verma should be allowed to explain himself before the committee, along with the charges made against him, prior to any decision being taken.

"It would be grossly unfair not to restore Alok Verma to the full extent of the authority enjoyed by the office of the Director CBI and compensate him by extending his term appropriately to accommodate for the loss of 77 days caused by the illegal orders of the CVC and DoPT on October 23, 2018," he said in his dissent note.

Kharge also demanded that a high-powered committee order an investigation into the events of the early hours of October 23, 2018.

(With PTI inputs)