NEW DELHI: Alok Verma is the first chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to be removed from his post. The selection panel comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri transferred Verma out of the agency on the basis of allegations of gross misconduct in meat exporter Moin Qureshi case and the IRCTC scam case. The committee was constituted after an amendment was introduced in The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) in 2003.
According to the Act, the committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha has the authority to appoint and sack the director.
“The Committee shall recommend a panel of officers on the basis of seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases and chosen from amongst officers belonging to the Indian Police Service constituted under the All-India Services Act, 1951 (61 of 1951), for being considered for appointment as the Director,” the Act states. The DSPE Act also mandates a term of no less than two years for the director and prohibits his transfer before that, unless approved by the high-powered selection committee and also obligates a mandate from the panel in case of the termination of the director.
Legal experts say the doors are as good as closed for Verma. “The mandate of the high-level panel is the final nail in the coffin. The committee’s decision is in accordance with the Supreme Court order and there is no fault in it. The Opposition’s allegations over the basis of removal is a different question altogether. But, on paper there is no option for Verma,” a senior lawyer said.
Earlier in the day, in what turned out to be his last order as CBI director, Verma ordered the transfer of five officials. The transfers came about after M K Sinha, DIG, requested Verma to be relieved of his duties in the anti-corruption unit III which was probing the case involving CBI special director Rakesh Asthana.
‘No fault in the order’
The mandate of the high-level panel is the final nail in the coffin. The committee’s decision is in accordance with the SC order and there is no fault in it. The Opposition’s allegations over the basis of removal is a different question, ” a senior lawyer said