New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 24: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley finally presents the government's point of view on the ongoing controversy, allegations and counter allegations within the country's premier investigating agency CBI.
Union Min Arun Jaitley says, "CVC in its yesterday's meeting said neither these two officers (Arun Verma & Rakesh Asthana) nor any agency under their supervision can investigate charges against them. So the officers will sit out by going on leave. It's an interim measure," further adding, "The CVCs recommendation and the government's action is intended to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of CBI."
The FM was responding to the uncomfortable questions put forth by the media on the on-going slug-fest within the country's premier investigating agency.
"To maintain the institutional integrity of CBI and in the interest of fairness, purely as an interim measure,they will sit out by going on leave. An SIT not functioning under either of these officers will investigate. This is in accordance with the highest standards of fairness."
The FM stressed that CBI is a premier investigative agency, for maintenance of its institutional integrity, it is a precondition and absolutely essential for fair investigation. Responding to the transfer of CBI officers, FM Arun Jaitley said, "Director has been accused by the Special Director. A Special Director has been accused by CBI. Two topmost officers of CBI have been accused. Now, who will investigate it? Requirements for fairness and fair play have to be there. The government can't investigate it."
In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was asked to take over.Former Assistant Director of CBI, N S 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," Kharatyat told ANI.Former Joint-Director of the CBI N K Singh termed the matter unfortunate."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," he said. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other."The ACC has approved that during the period of the subsistence of the aforesaid interim measure, cited in reference above, M. Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI, shall look after duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over the duties and functions with immediate effect," the official statement said.The decision came after Asthana was divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday.The government appeared to be peeved over the war at the top in the country's premiere probe agency and took the action as he could not be sacked straight away.Verma was appointed as CBI Director for two years and his tenure ends in December.The CBI on Tuesday suspended its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.It also added five new sections into the existing bribery FIR lodged against its Special Director.