NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday said forcing CBI director Alok Verma to go on indefinite leave was "illegal" and alleged that it was done as the government panicked over the possibility of him investigating the Rafale jet deal.
Addressing a press conference here, he claimed that Verma's removal was an "insult" to the Constitution, the chief justice of India and the leader of the opposition.
The move was "illegal", the Congress chief said.
The interim charge of the agency has been given a person who has cases against him so that the prime minister can control him, Gandhi alleged, referring to joint director Nageswara Rao.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were asked to go on leave as per the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission and it was "absolutely essential" to maintain the institutional integrity of CBI.
NGO moves SC challenging Alok Verma's removal
An NGO on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the removal of Alok Verma as CBI Director and giving the charge to Joint Director M. Nagesawara Rao.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Krishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph said "we will see" as counsel Prashant Bhushan was seeking an urgent hearing as some broader issues have been raised.
While challenging the government order asking Verma to proceed on leave, NGO Common Cause has sought the removal of Special Director Rakesh Asthana from the investigating agency.
Bhushan told the reporters that they have sought a SIT probe against CBI officers facing corruption allegations.
(With inputs from IANS)