Modi govt’s brazen interference in CBI feud a bid to subvert agency

Odisha cadre IPS officer M Nageshwar Rao takes charge as interim CBI chief

The decision came following a bitter battle being fought between Verma and CBI's special director Rakesh Asthana. Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann allowed the plea of the agency after it sought custodial interrogation of middleman Prasad. This note was received by the CVC on October 22, a week after the CBI booked Mr. Asthana on charges of corruption.

Asthana was heading the SIT that was probing Qureshi's case. Rao then sent out letters to the officers part of both Verma's and Asthana's team on leave.

After sending the two on leave, the government, on the advice of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), transferred 13 officers said to be in Verma's camp, including some of his closest confidants.

On Tuesday, the Delhi high court had told the CBI to place on record the various criminal provisions under which an FIR had been registered against Asthana and deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar. The court ruled that until October 29, no action can be taken against Asthana.

Bhushan also alleged that Verma had launched a discreet inquiry against Rao when the latter was posted as CBI joint director, Chennai Zone, and ordered the transfer of important cases from the office to the agency's banking and securities fraud cell of Bengaluru. Delhi HC has also clarified that this does not qualify as a stay on the probe into the claims.

Meanwhile, the government has appointed M Nageswar Rao as the new interim chief, who replaces Verma.

Mr. Verma has moved Supreme Court against the said order. Also on the list were HoB Ram Gopal, SP Satish Dagar and director generals, namely A Sai Manohar, Arun Kumar Sharma, V Murugesan and additional SP SS Gurm. More often than not, they become weapons in the hands of the ruling party to silence opposition leaders or coerce them into submission. This was after the CBI had raided its own headquarters to carry out searches of Asthana, the CBI's special director and close confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "An institution in terminal decline that's at war with itself".

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