News Frontliner Web Desk, 1 February 2019: The tussle between BJP led Central Government and former CBI Chief Alok Verma took a new turn after the Home Ministry has put on hold all retirement benefits of Verma, who was to retire on January 31.
Senior Home Ministry official on anonymity said that Verma not taking charge as Director General, Fire Services after being sacked as the chief of CBI by a high-profile panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces disciplinary proceedings for not joining the new posting. A senior minister said Alok Verma’s resignation will not be accepted till the investigation against him is completed. According to sources, his conduct is being deemed as a breach of service rules and may entail loss of pensioner benefits.
Earlier this month, Alok Verma resigned from the Indian Police Service, which many feels is a protest by him for being removed from the post of the director of Central Bureau of Investigation.
Now yesterday morning, the government refused to let Alok Verma go. The government rejected Verma’s resignation from service and ordered him to report to work. So virtually, the government was asking Alok Verma to rejoin work for a grand total of one day only. The policeman however chose not to pay heed and did not show up at work.
In a letter accessed by news agency Press Trust of India, Alok Verma immediately reiterated his position by saying that he had already retired from the service on July 31, 2017 and was serving the tenure of CBI director. “The undersigned has already crossed the age of 61 years and continued to serve even after his superannuation date as Director, CBI which is a tenure post for a period of two years,” the letter said.
On might remember, that Alok Verma was removed from the post of CBI Chief, just two days after the Supreme Court reinstated him. In October, he had been sent on forced leave by the government in a midnight swoop in which officers of his team were transferred and an interim director took over.
Verma challenging the decision in the Supreme Court, argued that he had a fixed two-year tenure and only the PM-led selection panel could remove him. The court cancelled the government’s order saying, the selection panel must decide on his status, based on a vigilance report on allegations of bribery raised by his number two officer, Rakesh Asthana.
In the three-member panel, Justice AK Sikri – nominated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi who had deliberately rescued himself, voted with PM Modi for Mr Verma’s removal. While Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge, representing the opposition, put up a dissenting note saying that the vigilance inquiry had not found evidence that Mr Verma was guilty of bribery.
The three-member panel in a split verdict of 2:1, removed Verma from the post of CI Director and decided to transfer him 21 days ahead of the completion of his extended service tenure.