New Delhi: Former CBI Director Alok Verma, who was transferred within 48 hours after rejoining following a Supreme Court order, on Friday refused to join his new post as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Verma has written to the Chandramouli C, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), informing him of his decision, and requesting that he be considered superannuated with immediate effect.
“It may be noted that the undersigned would have already superannuated as on July 31, 2017, and was only serving the government as Director, CBI, till January 31, 2019, as the same was a fixed tenure role. The undersigned is no longer CBI Director and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services….Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today,” says the letter by Verma, as cited by The Indian Express.
In the letter, Verma also lamented that he was not given the opportunity to provide an explanation on the graft charges levelled against him by the Central Vigilance Commission, on the basis of which he was removed from the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post…” he alleged, adding that the “Selection Committee did not consider the fact that the entire CVC report is premised on charges alluded by a complainant who is presently under investigation by the CBI.
In the letter, Verma has claimed that the CVC only forwarded a "purportedly signed statement of the complainant and the complainant never came before" Justice (retired from the Supreme Court) A K Patnaik, who was supervising the enquiry. Verma also claimed that Justice Patnaik had concluded that the findings/conclusions of the report of the Central Vigilance Commissioner were not his.
Referring to the DoPT order dated January 10, Verma writes that the decision made on January 10 on his functioning “will become a testimony on how CBI as an institution will be treated by any government through the CVC, who is appointed by majority members of the ruling government,” adding that this “is a moment for collective introspection, to state the least.”
After being removed as CBI Director after a 2-1 decision by the high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra, Verma had issued a statement late Thursday night, saying the corruption charges against him were “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, had submitted a dissent note, opposing the decision to remove Verma.
The 1979-batch IPS officer, who was removed from the agency's helm on the midnight of October 23 after his tussle with his deputy Rakesh Asthana became public, was reinstated on Tuesday by the apex court on grounds that the government cannot transfer or alter the duties of the CBI chief without going to the Selection Committee, an IANS report said.
Reacting to the decision on Thursday night, Verma said: "I have stood up for the integrity of the institution, and if asked, will do it again in order to uphold the rule of law."
He also said that the CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose "independence should be preserved and protected", adding that "it must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it.
Meanwhile, the government brought back M. Nageswara Rao, Additional Director, CBI, to look after the duties of the Director, CBI, till the appointment of a new Director or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, who took charge as interim Director, on Friday, immediately nullified all transfer orders by Verma made on January 9 and 10, according an NDTV report.