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17 Jan 2019, Edition - 1283, Thursday

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Ousted CBI chief Alok Verma refuses to take charge as DG of fire services


Alok Verma has refused to take charge as the director general of fire services and home guards, a post he was shunted out to after he was removed as the Central Bureau of Investigation chief. Alok Verma has informed the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that he will not take charge as director general of fire services and home guard.

The DoPT is the government’s primary arm handling all personnel-related matters. Alok Verma was removed as the CBI chief last evening by a select panel comprising Supreme Court Justice AK Sikri, PM Narendra Modi and Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

The select panel met following a Supreme Court verdict reinstating Alok Verma, who was earlier sent on forced leave by the government. Alok Verma was sent on leave due his feud with CBI’s No. 2 officer Rakesh Asthana.

Both Asthana and Verma accused each other of corruption and were both sent on leave. The Supreme Court quashed the order sending Alok Verma on leave (Asthana remains on leave) saying that any action against a CBI director can only be taken by the select committee that traditionally comprises the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minster of India and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.

The CJI can choose to nominate another Supreme Court justice to take his place and in case of there being no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the leader of the largest Opposition party in Lok Sabha can take part in the meeting.

That is what happened last evening, when Justice AK Sikri and PM Narendra Modi voted to remove Alok Verma due to the charges of corruption against him. Mallikarjun Kharge had dissented.

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