Alok Verma revokes transfer orders issued by interim chief Nageswara Rao

The High-Powered panel meet comprising PM Narendra Modi, Justice A K Sikri and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, had ended inconclusively.

Published: 09th January 2019 10:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2019 11:26 PM   |  A+A-

Alok Verma

Central Bureau of Investigation CBI Chief Alok Verma arrives at CBI headquarters a day after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court in New Delhi Wednesday. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Reinstated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma on Wednesday got down to business as he withdrew the midnight transfer orders issued by his predecessor M Nageshwar Rao on October 24.

The withdrawal comes at a time when the high-level committee comprising Justice AK Sikri (CJI Ranjan Gogoi's representative), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met in accordance with the Supreme Court directive.

Verma was divested of his powers and replaced by Rao in a midnight change of guard in the CBI on October 24. Rao, after assuming charge had ordered the transfer of 13 officers including those investigating the corruption charges against deputy director Rakesh Asthana. "The transfer/postings/repatriation orders dated 24.10.2018 are withdrawn with immediate effect. The status quo before issuance of the above mentioned order will be maintained..," an internal CBI office order read.

Verma's withdrawal of the transfers means that officers like Bassi, Gurm and Sharma would be back to the capital and lead the old special investigating team probing the Moin Qureshi case which involves Asthana. 

The CBI chief's order, however, does not withdraw the transfer of two DIG rank officers - Anish Prasad and KR Chaurasia.

The apex court on Wednesday had reinstated Verma but with a rider. The CBI chief was not to take any policy decisions and was meant to only oversee day to day functioning of the agency till the high-level panel took a decision. 

Legal experts say Verma's move to withdraw the transfer order was in accordance with the apex court's verdict. "It is not a policy decision so long as he simply wants them to assist him in his police functioning. He has both the duty and obligation to investigate offences before him. If those officers' transfer is going to diminish his investigation, he is fully justified in reversing those transfers," Supreme Court lawyer KV Dhananjay said.

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