This Article is From Oct 24, 2018

"CBI Officers Leaving Is Purely Interim Measure," Says Arun Jaitley: Highlights

War within CBI: The government's order last night followed a recommendation by the Chief Vigilance Commissioner that the CBI's warring top two be sent on compulsory wait, stripped of all responsibilities.

'CBI Officers Leaving Is Purely Interim Measure,' Says Arun Jaitley: Highlights

CBI Infighting: Arun Jaitley says the CBI's integrity is of utmost importance

New Delhi:

In a stunning overnight 'coup' by the government, the CBI's warring top two officers, Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, were sent on leave. M Nageswar Rao has been appointed as an interim chief. His first act after his late-night promotion was to sign orders shifting several members of a team investigating corruption charges against Rakesh Asthana.

"The decision to remove the director, special director was taken to restore institutional integrity and credibility of CBI," said Union Minister Arun Jaitley, articulating the government's first response to questions raised by the opposition.

"To maintain the fairness of an impartial was necessary that the two senior-most officers involved must sit out on leave till an impartial investigation is complete," Mr Jaitley said.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said the CBI chief Alok Verma was sent on leave because he was "collecting papers of Rafale scam". The Congress President ramped up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal. He tweeted saying, "The Prime Minister's message is clear, whoever comes near Rafale will be removed, wiped out. The country and the constitution are in danger."

Here are the highlights on the massive infighting within the CBI:


Oct 24, 2018 18:07 (IST)
The Narendra Modi government's decision to send Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Verma on leave is an "undeclared emergency", DMK president MK Stalin said today and asked whether the move has been initiated "to cover up investigations into the Rafale deal".

"Several complaints were sent to CBI director (Alok Verma) against Nageswar Rao and there are reports that Alok Verma wanted to initiate investigations into allegations against him," the DMK chief said.
Oct 24, 2018 16:58 (IST)
Team probing the Rakesh Asthana case has been reconstituted for a fair, impartial and expeditious probe. We have made available best resources in the reconstituted team. There were searches, but reports of sealing offices are totally untrue. CBI is working normally: CBI Spokesperson
Oct 24, 2018 16:50 (IST)
Is CVC a puppet of the government?: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala
Oct 24, 2018 16:24 (IST)
There is speculation that it has something to do with the Rafale scam. People want to know the truth. The prime minister being the head of the government should explain to the people and the nation: D Raja
Oct 24, 2018 16:23 (IST)
What is happening in the CBI is like a coup that has shocked the entire nation. The CBI has been plunged into such a crisis. It's credibility stands completely destroyed. It is happening under the nose of the prime minister: Communist Party of India's national secretary D Raja
Oct 24, 2018 16:16 (IST)
Misuse of government machinery and interference in CBI's functioning have earlier also caused disasters and ongoing disturbance at CBI is a matter of great concern for the nation. It's good that the matter that also had interference of central government is before the Supreme Court now: BSP chief Mayawati
Oct 24, 2018 15:00 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 14:50 (IST)
Ashwini Gupta Deputy SP, CBI has been repatriated to his parent department, the Intelligence Bureau
Oct 24, 2018 14:05 (IST)
CBI director removed by 'chowkidar' because agency was raising questions on Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi
Oct 24, 2018 14:03 (IST)
Rahul Gandhi tweets on the CBI's top officers' leave

"CBI chief was collecting Rafale-related documents, was forcibly sent on leave," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
"The message is clear- Anyone who raises questions on Rafale deal will be removed. The nation and the Constitution are in danger," he said in the tweet.
Oct 24, 2018 13:57 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 13:55 (IST)
Read Here: In CBI War, AK Bassi, Officer In Rakesh Asthana Probe, Sent To Port Blair In Public Interest
In the CBI bloodbath that saw director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana being sent on leave after their ugly public feud, it is the top boss of the investigating agency who has emerged the bigger loser.
Oct 24, 2018 13:38 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 13:37 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 13:35 (IST)
Modi-Shah duo is scared of the Rafale scandal, says senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi

"The Modi-Shah jodi is scared of Rafale scandal. Removal of CBI director is illegal, unconstitutional. It is being done to control the investigation agency," says senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi.

"We allege that the CBI director was forced out because they are scared of the Rafale scandal," Mr Singhvi said.

"This government has refused to listen to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the Supreme Court order which mandates autonomy of the CBI has been nullified. The amendments have been nullified. Prosecuting officers have been made lameduck and have been alleged with extortion charges," he said.

"Since when does CVC have powers? CVC has no power to either appoint or dis-appoint you. You think CVC can violate section 4a and 4b? CVC is being misused by the government," he added.
Oct 24, 2018 13:28 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 13:27 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 13:23 (IST)
According to sources, 13 CBI officers, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Bassi, who was investigating the charges against Asthana were transferred, according to news agency IANS.

Bassi has been transferred to Port Blair with immediate effect in "public interest".

SS Gurm, Supervisory Superintendent of Police of AC-3 unit of CBI in probe against Asthana, has also been transferred to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, with immediate effect, said the IANS report.
Oct 24, 2018 12:57 (IST)
CBI has become BJP Bureau of Investigation, says Mamata Banerjee

Oct 24, 2018 12:53 (IST)
"CBI director, special director will 'sit out' as charges against them are probed,": Arun Jaitley

"CBI director, special director will 'sit out' as interim measure while SIT will probe charges against them," says Arun Jaitley.
Oct 24, 2018 12:43 (IST)
"One reporter says 'Why at the last minute? Isn't it too late?' and at the same time you ask, 'Why suddenly at 1 AM?'," Arun Jaitley questioned.

"You are making contradictory statements," Mr Jaitley said.
Oct 24, 2018 12:39 (IST)
"Congress' charge doesn't even merit a reply," says Arun Jaitley

On being asked about the Congress' charge of Rakesh Asthana being PM Modi's "blue-eyed boy," Arun Jaitley said the charge doesn't merit a reply.

"During an investigation, red eyes or blue eyes do not matter. It is the evidence that matters," Mr Jaitley said.

"The two senior-most officers being on leave is purely an interim measure and will return at the end of the impartial probe, subject to their innocence," he said. "One must remember that the country's premier investigating agency cannot lose its integrity," he added.
Oct 24, 2018 12:33 (IST)
It is important for the CVC, government of India, that the integrity of the CBI remains. To maintain this, the officers under a cloud must stand out, Arun Jaitley said.

Oct 24, 2018 12:29 (IST)
"Two senior-most officers had differences": Arun Jaitley

An unfortunate scenario surfaced recently where two senior-most officer had differences. Now in such a scenario, who will investigate the matter. It is outside of the government's control. The government will not interfere, but someone has to investigate the matter," Arun Jaitley says.
Oct 24, 2018 12:27 (IST)
"CBI's integrity is foremost priority," says Arun Jaitley

"CBI is the premier investigative agency of the country. Its integrity is maintained is the foremost priority, and is absolutely essential. Not just because probes are fair, but because it has the highest institutional integrity," Arun Jaitley says.
Oct 24, 2018 12:23 (IST)
"Modi's CBI Gate," tweets Prashant Bhushan

"Immediately after illegally removing the Director CBI, Alok Verma & illegally appointing tainted officer Nageshwar Rao as acting Director, the entire ACB team particularly those investigating PMO's blue eyed boy Asthana, are being replaced with alacrity! It is Modi's CBI Gate," tweeted Prashant Bhushan.

Oct 24, 2018 12:11 (IST)
The new team that will probe the Rakesh Asthana case

The new team that will probe Rakesh Asthana case:

Satish Dagar, SP. He probed Guru Ram Rahim and got a conviction

V Murugesan, Joint Director. He probed coal scam.

Tarun Gauba, DIG. He probed Vyapam case.
Oct 24, 2018 11:47 (IST)
CBI vs CBI: "Is there a co-relation between Rafale deal and removal of Alok Verma?" asks Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted over the CBI controversy again, asking if Alok Verma was about to investigate the Rafale deal.

"Is there a co-relation betn Rafale deal and removal of Alok Verma? Was Alok Verma about to start investigations into Rafale, which cud become problem for Modi ji?" he tweeted.

Arvind Kejriwal also retweeted an old tweet by PM Narendra Modi, in which he had said that the centre is "undermining intelligence systems".

Oct 24, 2018 11:39 (IST)
Read Here: CBI vs CBI: 1 am Coup That Left CBI Chief Alok Verma, Deputy Rakesh Asthana Without Offices, Drivers
It was a 1 am "coup" that set in motion cataclysmic changes in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's top investigating agency, caught in a one-of-a-kind battle between chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
Oct 24, 2018 11:37 (IST)
Read Here: On CBI vs CBI, Opposition Says "Panic Move, Illegal"
Amid corruption allegations and counter-allegations by CBI chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, the duo have been sent on leave along with their trusted officers. The country's top investigating agency will now have M Nageswar Rao as the interim director. The CBI chief has challenged the order in the Supreme Court, which has listed the hearing for Friday.
Oct 24, 2018 11:32 (IST)

Oct 24, 2018 11:29 (IST)
Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Gogoi to hear Alok Verma's plea on October 26

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph considered the submission of Alok Verma that his plea against the centre's decision to send him on leave required urgent hearing, according to news agency PTI.

The CBI chief has also challenged the decision to appoint Joint Director M Nageswar Rao as the agency's interim chief.
Oct 24, 2018 11:26 (IST)
"Public Interest": Officer investigating bribery case against Rakesh Asthana has been transferred to Port Blair

CBI officer AK Bassi investigating bribery case against agency No. 2 Rakesh Asthana transferred to Port Blair in "public interest".
Oct 24, 2018 11:25 (IST)
"Central BJP Intruders (CBI) have taken over Caged Bureau of Investigation (CBI)," tweets Tejashwi Yadav

Tejashwi Yadav tweeted over the CBI controversy and launched an attack on the BJP.

"Central BJP Intruders (CBI) have virtually taken over Caged Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to save Corrupt Brokers of India (CBI) through it's Criminal Barter Interrogation (CBI) by its Crooked Bureaucrats of Incompetence (CBI)," Tejashwi Yadav said in the tweet.

Oct 24, 2018 11:15 (IST)
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday said Verma's plea would be taken up on October 26 after his counsel pressed for an urgent hearing on the midnight order issued against the central probe agency's chief following an escalation of rift between the top officials at the Bureau over bribery charges, according to news agency IANS.
Oct 24, 2018 11:14 (IST)
"No room at CBI headquarters has been sealed," says CBI spokesperson

A CBI spokesperson has dismissed earlier reports which said the CBI headquarters had been sealed.

The spokesperson said that no room in the CBI had been sealed, according to news agency ANI.
Oct 24, 2018 11:11 (IST)
"Several corruption cases against Nageswar Rao himself," says Prashant Bhushan

Several corruption cases against Nageswar Rao himself, says Prashant Bhushan. Mr Bhushan says there are cases of disproportionate assets against Mr Rao, adding that Alok Verma wanted graft cases against him investigated.
Oct 24, 2018 11:05 (IST)
Years ago to protect CBI director's independence, a committee was formed through which Alok Verma was selected, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said.

Supreme Court said 2 years tenure, before which he can't be removed and if he can be removed, it has to be done by the committee and only when disciplinary action is initiated against him, he said.

To protect Rakesh Asthana, Alok Verma has been removed. M Nageswar Rao, who has been given interim post, has been accused of corruption. No investigation has been conducted against it. 6 regular cases against Mr Rao are being investigated by the CBI itself.
Oct 24, 2018 10:56 (IST)
Alok Verma has challenged:

- Central Vigilance Commission recommendation against him

- Government order appointing K Nageswar Rao in charge of CBI Director

- Government decision to send him on leave
Oct 24, 2018 10:52 (IST)
Interim CBI Director inside CBI headquarters

Interim CBI director M Nageswar Rao is currently inside the CBI's headquarters. He is there to attend a meeting of the agency's top officials.
Oct 24, 2018 10:40 (IST)
The Supreme Court has allowed Alok Verma's lawyer to file his petition. It has agreed to take up his hearing on Friday.
Oct 24, 2018 10:38 (IST)
Supreme to hear Alok Verma's plea on Friday
Oct 24, 2018 10:35 (IST)
Read Here: The 2 am Government Order That Shook Up CBI, Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana Sent On Leave, Nageswar Rao Interim Chief
It was a 2 am order that set in motion cataclysmic changes in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's top investigating agency, which is in the middle of a one-of-a-kind battle between the chief and his deputy.
Oct 24, 2018 10:28 (IST)
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan reaches the court of the Chief Justice.
Oct 24, 2018 10:23 (IST)
There would be no movement of officials or files at the CBI Director's office and Special Director Rakesh Asthana's office till 2 pm on Wednesday, news agency ANI quoted CBI sources as saying.
Oct 24, 2018 10:22 (IST)
Scene outside Alok Verma's home in Delhi.

Oct 24, 2018 10:21 (IST)
Alok Verma, the CBI chief who was sent on leave, will challenge the government order in the Supreme Court soon.
Oct 24, 2018 10:10 (IST)
Alok Verma to move the Supreme Court at 10:30 am

Oct 24, 2018 09:51 (IST)
CBI vs CBI: M Nageshwara Rao Takes Interim Charge As CBI Faces Its Worst Crisis
M Nageshwara Rao took temporary charge of the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation in the early hours of Wednesday after the government, in a late-night move, sent the top two officers of the agency, director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, on "compulsory leave".
Oct 24, 2018 09:40 (IST)
Who Is M Nageswar Rao, Interim CBI Chief?

M Nageswar Rao is an IPS  officer of the 1986 batch. He joined the CBI in 2016.

He was the joint director of CBI before he was made the interim director.

A chemistry post-graduate from Osmania University, M Nageswar Rao  did research in Madras IIT before joining the IPS.

Mr Rao, say sources, is reputed to be a tough cop and decorated administrator.

He earned accolades for his handling of his first posting in Odisha's Talcher, notorious for coal smuggling.

Oct 24, 2018 09:27 (IST)
Read Here: CBI Boss Alok Verma, Deputy Rakesh Asthana Sent On Leave, M Nageswar Rao Takes Over As Interim Chief
CBI chief Alok Verma, his deputy Rakesh Asthana and several other officers have been sent on leave in an unprecedented coda to a battle within the country's top investigating agency. M Nageswar Rao will take over as interim director, a government order said late on Tuesday evening.
Oct 24, 2018 09:23 (IST)
"Never been heard before," says NK Singh, former Joint-Director of CBI

Former Joint-Director of the CBI NK Singh termed the matter unfortunate and told ANI, "It is the most unfortunate. There have been ups and downs in the CBI in the past too. But, whatever is happening today has been never heard before. The credibility of the CBI is also lost now."
Oct 24, 2018 09:22 (IST)
"This incident is unparalleled in the history of the CBI," says the agency's former assistant director

Former Assistant Director of CBI, NS Kharayat has said that the central government should take the issue very seriously. "The CBI is directly under the Prime Minister. This incident is unparalleled in the history of the CBI. This is very unfortunate that one special director of the CBI is facing corruption charges. The CBI is such a reputed agency and it is the duty of CBI officials to maintain its dignity and image I am shocked that the government has not woken up yet," Mr Kharatyat told ANI.
Oct 24, 2018 09:20 (IST)
"Has the CBI Director been sacked for his keenness to probe the layers of corruption in Rafale Scam?" asks Congress

In yet another tweet, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, said,"PM Modi has demonstrated the true colour of his infamous 'Modi Made Gujarat Model' by this cloak-and-dagger mugging of CBI. Has the CBI Director been sacked for his keenness to probe the layers of corruption in Rafale Scam? Isn't the rest a shoddy cover up?"

Oct 24, 2018 09:10 (IST)
"Habitual and perpetual misuse of CBI by Modi Govt," says Congress' Randeep Surjewala

In yet another tweet directed at the Modi government, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said PM Modi "seeks to achieve surreptitiously& clandestinely what he can't do directly to sack CBI Director".
Oct 24, 2018 09:07 (IST)
"Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete," says Congress

Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, in a series of tweets, has taken the Modi government to task over the CBI tussle. Tweeting the appointment letter of the interim CBI director, Mr Surjewala said the Modi government "buries the 'last nail' into the independence of CBI". He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "ensures that CBI's integrity, credibility & reliability is 'buried & dead'".
Oct 24, 2018 09:00 (IST)
Arvind Kejriwal tweets on CBI tussle: "What are the reasons for sending CBI director on leave?"

Oct 24, 2018 08:43 (IST)
Appointment letter of M Nageswar Rao as CBI interim CBI chief

Oct 24, 2018 08:43 (IST)
Amid CBI raids and new appointment of chief, lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan says "as feared & suspected"

Prashant Bhushan in a tweet termed the appointment of M Nageswar Rao as interim director at the CBI "totally illegal".

Oct 24, 2018 08:36 (IST)
M Nageswar Rao appointed interim CBI director

Amid the infighting at CBI headquarters, and a raid which occurred this morning, the centre has appointed M Nageswar Rao as the agency's interim head.

Oct 24, 2018 08:32 (IST)
CBI building has been sealed

CBI building has been sealed. Neither staff nor outsiders are being allowed, according to news agency PTI.

The 10th and 11th floor of the CBI office in Delhi, which has the rooms of all these officers, are being raided, say sources.
Oct 24, 2018 08:31 (IST)
Offices of warring CBI chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana sealed, being searched, say sources