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CBI feud: Chief Vigilance Commissioner says perusing files, will only summon officers if needed

Chief Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chowdary on Wednesday said that the commission had not examined any CBI officer till now. He added that the commission was still examining the files sought for and sent by the CBI with reference to the allegations of corruption against CBI Director Alok Verma and that if the allegations “do not survive,” the officer will not be examined.

“The examination of files and records are on,” Mr. Chowdary told reporters on the sidelines of a function. “We have not questioned anyone so far. We will take a decision after going through all the documents.”

The top two officers in the CBI, Mr. Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana have made allegations of bribery and corruption against each other. The CBI had registered an FIR against Mr. Asthana on October 15.

Mr. Chowdary said that the commission had submitted a separate report on complaints against Mr. Asthana, on the basis of which the personnel ministry had issued an order divesting him of all charge.

 

The Supreme Court had last week ordered the commission to complete its ongoing inquiry against Mr. Verma in two weeks. Mr. Verma had moved the apex court after he was divested of all charge around 2 a.m. on October 23 on the basis of an order issued by the commission.

The CVC had said in its order that the “Director, CBI was not cooperating in making available the records and files sought by it” and that he had been served three separate notices to produce files and documents before September 14.

Speaking for the first time since the controversy erupted, Mr. Chowdary said they would examine the officers depending upon the facts that emerge during the course of the inquiry.

“The difficulty arose because there were no records. Once you have seen the records and somebody’s clarification is required, it will be asked. If the allegations don’t survive, they will not be asked [to come and depose],” the CVC’s top official said.

Another official said that the commission had the powers of a civil court and could summon officers for inquiring into a complaint.

Mr. Verma and NGO Common Cause had moved a petition in the Supreme Court highlighting the “brazen government interference” in the functioning of the CBI which was manifested in the “overnight decision” on October 23 to divest Mr. Verma of his power, functions and duties as the CBI Director.

When asked about the necessity of issuing a midnight order, Mr. Chowdary said, “any intelligent person would understand the timing of the order after seeing the sequence of events… I don’t want to say anything when it itself is a subject matter of dispute in the court.”

Mr. Chowdary added that the retired SC judge A.K Patnaik, who has been tasked by the SC to monitor the probe, had been supervising the probe and visits the commission’s office regularly.

The late night order of the CVC, stripping CBI Director Alok Verma of all charges mentioned a “top secret note” by Special Director Rakesh Asthana that a key figure in the Moin Qureshi case had paid a bribe of ₹2 crore to the Director.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:28:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cvc-says-commission-is-examining-all-records-in-inquiry-against-alok-verma/article25378368.ece

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