In Front Of Probe Panel, CBI's Alok Verma Counters Charges Point By Point

Both Alok Verma and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana have been sent on leave by the government.

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Alok Verma is being probed by Central Vigilance Commissioner in the corruption allegations against him.

New Delhi: 

Hours after CBI Director Alok Verma appeared before the Chief Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary-led inquiry panel, Special Director Rakesh Asthana visited the office of the anti-corruption watchdog on Friday, officials said.

They said Mr Asthana, who had come to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) office at around 4.45 PM, stayed there for 10 minutes but could not meet any senior official as there was no scheduled appointment.

"He could not meet Central Vigilance Commissioner Chowdary or any of the Vigilance Commissioners -- T M Bhasin and Sharad Kumar -- as they, along with other senior officials of the commission, were in a meeting," one of the officials said, requesting anonymity.

Mr Asthana had visited the CVC office on Thursday as well and met Mr Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar, the officials said.

Earlier in the day, CBI Director Alok Verma appeared before the panel headed by Mr Chowdary and countered the corruption charges levelled against him by Mr Asthana for the second consecutive day, they said.

Mr Verma is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled by Mr Asthana before the panel, also comprising Vigilance Commissioners Bhasin and Kumar, they said.

Justice A K Patnaik, a retired Supreme Court judge, who has been asked by the apex court to supervise the CVC inquiry, was also present, the officials said.

Mr Verma came to the CVC office early Friday morning and stayed there for about an hour, they said.

He did not speak to the media waiting outside the CVC office.

The Supreme Court had on October 26 asked the Central Vigilance Commission to complete within two weeks its inquiry into the allegations against Verma levelled by Asthana.

The two weeks time limit ends on Sunday and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the matter on Monday.

Feuding officers Mr Verma and Mr Asthana have been sent on leave by the government.

The Commission had recently examined some CBI officials probing crucial cases which figured in Asthana's complaint of corruption against the probe agency's chief Mr Verma, they said. 

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