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CBI chief removal: Rahul Gandhi leads Congress' protest in New Delhi
Image: twitter.com/INCIndia

CBI chief removal: Rahul Gandhi leads Congress' protest in New Delhi

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 26 Oct 2018, 08:20 am

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IBNS): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday led his party's protest against the Union government's decision to send Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma on leave, the move which has been termed by the 48-year old opposition leader as "unconstitutional", in the national capital.

Rahul has marched from Dayal Singh College on Lodhi Road to the CBI headquarters. 

The Centre on Wednesday midnight sent both Verma and the federal probe agency's special director, Rakesh Asthana, on leave after the two were engaged in a rift.

Launching a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the removal of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief without consulting the Chief Justice of India and leader of the Opposition is unconstitutional and illegal.

Questioning the timing of the removal of the CBI chief, Rahul said: "The main reason for this removal of CBI Director at midnight is that the CBI was going to begin an investigation on the role of PM in Rafale scam and the corruption carried out by him."

Alleging a cover up of scams by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government, the Congress chief said: "Not only was the CBI Director removed, his office too was sealed and incriminating documents were taken."

The Centre on Wednesday midnight sent both Verma and the federal probe agency's special director, Rakesh Asthana, on leave after the two were engaged in a rift.

The CBI on Monday arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police, Devender Kumar, in connection with a bribery case that laid bare the probe agency's internal conflict.

The CBI said Kumar was arrested on charges of falsification of records in an ongoing investigation and said “the role of other officers of SIT (special investigation team) CBI, then supervising the Moin Qureshi case” was also being probed, reported Hindustan Times.

After bribery charges were slapped against him, Asthana in a written statement to the government said a "false FIR (First Information Report)" has been lodged against him".

Asthana has been named by Satish Sana, a Hyderabad businessman, who was being investigated in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, arrested in a money laundering case, the report said.

Sana claimed he had to cough up a bribe of Rs. two crores to Rakesh Asthana over a period of over 10-months so that he is not named in the CBI case against Moin Qureshi.

However, Asthana rubbished the charges saying it was hurled against him owing to a conspiracy between the accuser and some CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers. 

Challenging his removal, Verma had moved the Supreme Court which on Friday said the alleged bribery case, which involves the exiled CBI chief, must be probed in two weeks. The top court will hear the case next after Diwali on Nov 12.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi also said interim CBI chief M Nageswar Rao, who has been appointed by the Centre after removing Verma, will be the administrative head of the federal probe agency but cannot take any policy decision.

All the decisions taken by Rao since Verma's removal must be handed over to the top court, CJI Gogoi added. 

Asthana too moved the apex court on Friday against his removal by the Centre.