Exiled Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana will continue to remain the director and special director of the agency, respectively, a CBI spokesperson said on Thursday.
The spokesperson further said that M Nageshwar Rao will look after the duties and functions of the CBI director till the time the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC) completes the probe into the allegations against the two senior most CBI officials.
“Alok Verma will continue to remain CBI Director, Rakesh Asthana to remain Special Director. M Nageshwar Rao to look after duties & functions of the CBI Director in the interim period till the time CVC looks into the allegations,” ANI quoted the spokesperson as saying.
The clarification from the CBI came a day ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Verma's petition challenging the Centre's decision to divest him of his powers.
In a dramatic move by the Centre on Tuesday night, CBI chief Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana were stripped of their powers and sent on an indefinite leave.
The decision was taken in wake of the recent drama in the Delhi High Court involving the two warring CBI officers. Both Verma and Asthana have been at the loggerheads for the past few months, accusing each other of corruption and bribery.
The spokesperson said the CBI was conscious about the fall in its credibility and aware of the fact that it could impact the important cases the agency was fighting globally.
“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,” he said, adding that they were doing enough to ensure the credibility remains unaffected.
On October 15, the CBI registered a case against Asthana for taking a bribe of Rs 3 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana. The Delhi High Court, however, granted interim relief to Asthana and asked the CBI to maintain status quo.