- CBI Director Alok Verma and deputy Rakesh Asthana have been sent on leave
- A report claimed several files were under the consideration of Alok Verma
- Prashant Bhushan met Mr Verma on October 4, called for probe on Rafale
The CBI on Thursday rejected a report that files related to several crucial cases, including that of the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, was under the consideration of its Director Alok Verma when he was divested of his powers by the centre.
In an unprecedented shake-up in the CBI's 55-year-history, both Mr Verma and his deputy, Special Director Rakesh Asthana, were divested of their powers and sent on leave in a dramatic overnight action by the government Tuesday night.
A news report has claimed that several crucial files, including the one related to the Rafale fighter jet deal, was under the consideration of Mr Verma when the Centre divested him of his powers in a midnight order.
In a statement, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal termed the news report as false. "This is being manufactured by vested interests. Every file in the CBI at each level is accounted for," he said.
Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Union minister Arun Shourie had submitted a detailed complaint to Verma on October 4 regarding alleged corruption in the deal signed with France's Dassault Aviation to buy 36 Rafale aircraft. They also submitted documents buttressing their argument for the need of probe.
Alleging that the offset contract for Rafale aircraft was actually a commission to a private company, they had asked Mr Verma to take the government's permission to initiate a probe in accordance with the law.
"Apart from protecting Asthana (Special Director) from investigation, the Rafale complaint by Shourie, Sinha and myself, entertained by the CBI Director, must be another reason for the Govt to remove him with such alacrity by this midnight order," Bhushan had tweeted yesterday.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.