CBI's top two officials placed on leave to maintain agency's integrity: Arun Jaitley

By: admin
Updated: 24 Oct 2018 02:33 PM
New Delhi: The central government which was hard-pressed to explain the ongoing turmoil within the CBI finally broke its silence on the matter on Wednesday. In a media briefing after a cabinet meeting, FM Arun Jaitley said under the supervision of the central vigilance committee an Special Investigative Team (SIT) will be formed to investigate the allegations against the top two officials of CBI. The government he said will not probe the case. Jaitley said as an interim measure and to maintain the institutional integrity of CBI, Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana have been placed on leave. The minister said the allegations by CBI director and special director against each other led to "bizarre and unfortunate situation".

“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 highest standards of fairness,” Jaitley said.

Although, Jaitley said it is early to prejudge as the accused if proven innocent will return to their jobs

“One should not prejudge as to who is guilty. We are committed to ensuring India’s investigative process does not become a mockery and the integrity is maintained. If they are innocent they will come back and an independent SIT will investigative what is the truth,” he said.

He also trashed opposition allegations of a Rafale, Choksi, Mallya angles to the move.

Meanwhile, BJP MP and spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao also accused the Congress and other opposition parties of playing "petty politics" over the issue. The Centre directed Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao to "look after the duties and functions of the CBI Director". The opposition has termed the move "the last nail in the independence" of the organisation. 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, reported IANS.

Verma was appointed as CBI Director for two years and his tenure ends in December. Verma moved the Supreme Court over his "removal", which will be heard on Friday.