CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana have been sent on leave amid an ongoing spat between them, sources said, calling it the first such case in the history of the agency.

Joint Director M Nageshwara Rao has been given the charge of the director with immediate effect. The decision to this effect was taken by the prime minister-led appointments committee on Tuesday night.

According to an order by the Department of Personnel and Training, Rao will “look after the duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over the duties and functions with immediate effect.”

The news agency PTI reported, the order implies that the government has sidelined all the three additional directors number three in the agency’s hierarchy, including A K Sharma, whose name had figured in the complaint by Asthana.

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Following the move of appointing Rao as the interim chief, Congress attacked the PM Modi led BJP government saying that the prime minister has ensured that CBI’s integrity, credibility and reliability is ‘buried & dead’.

“Modi Govt buries the ‘last nail’ into the independence of CBI. Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility & reliability is ‘buried & dead’,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.


 


“PM Modi has demonstrated the true colour of his infamous ‘Modi Made Gujarat Model’ by this cloak-and-dagger mugging of CBI.

Has the CBI Director been sacked for his keenness to probe the layers of corruption in Rafale Scam? Isn’t the rest a shoddy cover up?

Let PM answer!,” he added.


There are reports that the CBI Headquarters has been sealed and neither officials nor outsiders are being allowed as a team of officers is inside the building, the sources said.

On Tuesday, the CBI suspended its DSP Devender Kumar, who was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records while probing allegations against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

“Devender Kumar has been suspended from his duties as per the procedure,” a CBI official said.

Kumar, an Investigating Officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption, was arrested on Monday on the charge of falsification of records. A trial court on Tuesday sent Kumar to CBI custody for seven days.

Read | PM Modi steps in as CBI war of attrition rages on

The CBI said it has added five new sections under Indian Penal Code, comprising extortion and forgery of documents, in the bribery FIR it had registered against Asthana, Kumar and two private persons — Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prasad — on October 15. The agency said it has also informed the trial court regarding the move.

CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said the move is a “routine procedure” and that new sections are added in any FIR when new evidences come to light.

(With agency inputs)