Mallikarjun Kharge gives dissent note on Alok Verma’s removal as CBI chief

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Alok Verma

During a meeting of the high-profile panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against its decision to shunt out CBI Director Alok Verma, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday gave a dissent note. 

Congress leader asked the panel to compensate Verma by granting him 77 more days in office as the agency’s chief.

In an unprecedented action in the central probe agency’s 55-year history, two days after Verma was reinstated by the Supreme Court, he was removed as CBI Director by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Verma was removed on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. This is the second time Kharge has objected to Verma’s removal. Incidentally, he had earlier objected to his appointment too.

Kharge told other panel members that in his opinion Verma should be allowed to explain himself before the committee, along with the charges made against him, prior to any decision being taken.

The three-member panel that met and removed Verma included Justice A K Sikri as a nominee of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

“It would be grossly unfair not to restore Alok Verma to the full extent of the authority enjoyed by the office of the Director CBI and compensate him by extending his term appropriately to accommodate for the loss of 77 days caused by the illegal orders of the CVC and DoPT on October 23, 2018,” he said in his dissent note.

Kharge also demanded that a high-powered committee order an investigation into the events of the early hours of October 23, 2018.

Congress’s senior spokesperson Anand Sharma separately demanded that an independent committee monitored by the Supreme Court investigate the events of the intervening night of October 23 and 24.

Kharge said that out of the 10 allegations, “six are found to be unsubstantiated or false, four are found to be in need of further investigation as an inconclusive finding has been arrived at. Four of the charges are found to be prima facie substantiated and on the basis of circumstantial evidence, found to be unflattering to Alok Verma”.

“It is clear that in the case of criminal charges, the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt. In the four cases where the CVC returns unflattering conclusions, even they admit that there is no proof of any pecuniary benefit, no unimpeachable evidence corroborating the story and the conclusion is arrived at on the basis of circumstantial evidence,” he said in his letter to the panel.

Alleging Verma was deprived of his powers wrongfully, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha demanded restoration of his full tenure and powers.

“There can be no alternative but to restore unto Alok Verma the full range of authority enjoyed by the office of the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), so as to ensure the independence and neutrality of the CBI,” Kharge said.

“Therefore, in the interest of justice, equity and good conscience, there can be absolutely no alternative but to extent the terms of service of Alok Verma as Director CBI, to the full two years, as mandated under law,” Kharge said.

(With inputs from agencies)


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Pravin Auti Author