M. Nageswar Rao took over as the temporary Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director today morning. The Cabinet Committee, following the orders of the Central Government, appointed Mr. Rao during the late hours of Tuesday night and sent Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave.
CBI, the leading investigative agency of the Country, was facing disputes between Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana since a week. The dispute started when the CBI filed a FIR against Rakesh Asthana on Sunday, alleging him of taking a bribe. According to the FIR, Asthana took a bribe of Rs. 3 crores from Moin Qureshi, a businessman facing charges of money laundering, and favoured him in the case. The situation took a bitter turn the next day when Asthana denied all the allegations and accused Alok Verma, the CBI Director, for the same.
According to the Central Government’s recent order, the accused officers have been sent on compulsory leave and deprived of all their powers and responsibilities. The offices of both Verma and Asthana in Delhi have been sealed and an investigation has started. M. Nageswar Rao was appointed as the interim CBI Director by the Modi Government immediately after Verma and Asthana were sent on leave.
M. Nageswar Rao is an Indian Public Service (IPS) officer from the 1986 batch of the Odisha Cadre. He joined CBI in the year 2016 as the Joint Director.
One of the accused, Alok Verma, decided to move the Supreme Court, challenging the order of the Government. The hearing for the case will be on Friday, following the petition filed by Mr. Verma through his lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan. It is expected that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) will look into the matter.
The Modi Government is facing criticism from various political parties and ministers over the sudden action of sending two officers of the CBI on leave overnight.
Political leaders and Ministers took to Twitter and shared their views about the case and the judgement of the Central Government.
CBI Director’s minimum tenure is 2 years; he can’t be removed prematurely by the Govt. But, in order to protect #RakeshAsthana they (BJP Govt) decided to remove #AlokVerma: Lawyer and Activist @pbhushan1 on #CBIVsCBI pic.twitter.com/yQrstVC6Rt
— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) October 24, 2018
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 pic.twitter.com/rDIRYUEw4R
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) October 24, 2018
If same Nageshwar Rao,he’s well-known as a Modi supporter with ties to RSS. None of that would matter in a system of strong institutions where private beliefs do not influence public action.But given this is India,can only be seen as placing a friendly person in a key position… https://t.co/rxW1eLnfwA
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) October 24, 2018