Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge moves SC against Centre's 'illegal' move of sending CBI director on leave
In his petition, Kharge, who is the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, said only the three-member committee of leader of opposition, prime minister and the Chief Justice of India can take a decision on the appointment or removal of the CBI director as per the act.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suo moto action of sending CBI director Alok Verma on leave is illegal and is in violation of the CBI Act," Kharge told news agency PTI, while confirming that he had moved a petition in the Supreme Court in this regard. The leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha also said that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has no power to act against the CBI director.
Party sources said the Congress had asked Kharge, who is a member of the committee, to file a petition in this regard.
Earlier on Wednesday, in an unprecedented shake-up in the CBI's 55-year-history, the Prime Minister-led Appointments Committee gave charge of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director to Joint Director M Nageshwara Rao while CBI Director Alok Verma, Special Director Rakesh Asthana were sent on leave. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also transferred the team probing the case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana and a new team headed by Satish Dagar was formed by Nageshwar Rao to impartially investigate bribery allegations.
The war between Verma and Asthana had escalated after Asthana had written to the CVC in August levelling allegations of misconduct and corruption in the probe into meat exporter Moin Qureshi case while the CBI registered a case on Sunday against Asthana accusing him of accepting a bribe to settle Qureshi's case. The Supreme Court had directed that the CVC's inquiry into the allegations against Verma, who has challenged the government's decision divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave.
(additional input from agencies)
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