Verma, Asthana sent on leave to maintain CBI’s integrity: Arun Jaitley

Verma, Asthana sent on leave to maintain CBI’s integrity: Arun Jaitley
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NEW DELHI: The government’s decision to remove CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana is based on the CVC’s recommendations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Wednesday, asserting that it was absolutely essential to restore the agency’s institutional integrity and credibility.

The Central Vigilance Commission made its recommendations last evening, he said.

Jaitley told reporters that allegations by the top two officers of the country’s premier investigation agency led to a “bizarre and unfortunate” situation.

A Special Investigation Team will probe the charges and both persons will “sit out” as an interim measure, he added.

It is an extraordinary situation, and the accused cannot be allowed to be in charge of investigation against them, the minister said.

He also dismissed as “rubbish” allegations of opposition parties, including the Congress, that Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In a swipe at them, Jaitley said their allegations indicate they had access to what was going in the mind of the officer concerned, an apparent reference to Verma.

That itself demolishes the integrity of the person they are trying to support, he said.