Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana to continue their respective duties: CBI

New Delhi: Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana will continue to serve as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director and Special Director, respectively, the CBI said on Thursday.

A CBI spokesperson said that M. Nageshwar Rao, who has been appointed as the interim director of the investigative agency, will look after the duties and functions of the CBI Director till the time the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) completes the probe into allegations levelled against Asthana and Verma.

“Alok Verma will continue to remain CBI Director, Rakesh Asthana to remain Special Director. M Nageshwar Rao to look after duties and functions of the CBI Director in the interim period till the time CVC looks into the allegations,” the CBI spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that whatever the probe agency is doing is to ensure that the credibility of the agency does not suffer.

“We are conscious of the fact that any fall in credibility and image of the agency has the potential to impact the important cases we are fighting internationally. Whatever we are doing is to ensure that the credibility of the agency does not suffer,” the CBI spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, Verma and Asthana were divested from their duties as the two hit out at each other over bribery accusations in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi money laundering case. In the wake of this, Rao, who was working as the Joint Director of the CBI, was appointed as the interim director with immediate effect.

The decision to appoint Rao was taken after Asthana moved the Delhi High Court seeking the quashing of First Information Report (FIR) filed against him by the CBI. The court, however, ordered that no action would be taken against Asthana until next hearing, which is scheduled for October 29.

The CBI had filed an FIR against Asthana for allegedly accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was linked to Moin Akhtar Qureshi case. Asthana was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing Qureshi’s case.