The ousted CBI Director, Alok Kumar Verma, on Friday refused to take up his new assignment as Director-General of Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards, and told the government that he be deemed superannuated.
The move came a day after the high-power Selection Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to remove him in view of an adverse report by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Accordingly, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued an order appointing him head of the Fire Services , Civil Defence & Home Guards till January 31.
Rao resumes charge
The same order appointed CBI Additional Director M. Nageswara Rao as interim Director till further notice. Mr. Rao, brought in after Mr. Verma was divested of his powers on the intervening night of October 23 and 24 last, resumed charge at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Refusing to take charge in the new post, Mr. Verma, in a letter to the DoPT Secretary, said: “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 Director, CBI, and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today [Friday].”
Mr. Verma said the panel did not give him an opportunity to explain the details as recorded by the CVC. “Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the Director, CBI.”
”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,” Mr Verma said.
The retired IPS officer said the CVC had only forwarded a purportedly signed statement of the complainant, and the complainant never came before Justice (retired) A.K. Patnaik, who was supervising the inquiry as directed by the Supreme Court. “Also, Justice Patnaik has concluded that the findings/conclusions of the report are not his,” he said.
“The decisions made yesterday [Thursday] will not just be reflection on my functioning but will become a testimony on how the CBI as an institution will be treated by any government through the CVC, who is appointed by majority members of the ruling government. This is a moment for collective introspection, to state the least,” said Mr. Verma.
He said as a career bureaucrat, it was the idea of his integrity that had been the driving force for four decades in public service. “I have served the Indian Police Service with an unblemished record and have headed police forces in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Mizoram, Delhi and also headed two organisations Delhi Prisons and CBI,” he added.