Cong writes to PM Modi, dubs CBI ‘Controlled by Intrusion’

New Delhi: The Congress”>Congress on Thursday came down heavily on the recent developments in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by dubbing the probe agency as ‘Controlled by Intrusion’, implying at the alleged interference of the Centre into the functioning of the agency.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge criticised the decision to send CBI Director Alok Verma on leave. “The actions taken in the early hours of October 24 morning in transferring the Director and his entire team, amount to a grave violation of the law, the Supreme Court’s clear directions on the subject and the Constitution of India,” he wrote.

Kharge said that the only reason behind this “hasty” move could be to hamper the ongoing investigations into the Special Director’s cases and other cases which might expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

“There are no visible grounds to transfer the Director. The only plausible explanation for this desperate and hasty move is an attempt to scuttle the ongoing investigations into the Special Director’s cases and other cases that might cause significant embarrassment to your (Narendra Modi) Government,” Kharge further said.

“Neither you (Prime Minister) nor the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) enjoy the requisite authority to interfere with the Terms of Service vested in the Director. It is apparent that the decision taken by the CVC shortly after your (Prime Minister Modi) meeting with the Director and the Special Director is a serious breach of the law. It also constitutes a serious, illegal and unwanted intrusion by the Prime Minister and other Governmental functionaries into an ongoing criminal investigation,” Kharge added.

Accusing the government of favouring Special Director Rakesh Asthana, Kharge said, “The person under investigation, a few months ago, makes allegations against the prosecutor, and the Government suddenly jumps in on the basis of a false equivalence of charges between the Special Director and the CBI Director. This is a pretence to protect certain people and exclude/sideline others and to attempt to control the CBI organisation by the Executive Government which is completely contrary to both the Supreme Court and spirit as also the 2014 amendment to the CBI Act,”

Asthana and Verma were at loggerheads on several issues and accused each other of blocking investigation of several important cases.

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

Amid this tug of war, the Centre divested Verma and Asthana from their respective roles and sent both of them on leave.

M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as the interim director of the CBI with immediate effect on Wednesday.