Calling the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) “a collaborator in violating the Constitution,” the Congress on Friday launched a blistering attack on the Modi government and said that the Central government is scared of the “truth of the Rafale” and therefore used CVC findings to remove former CBI director Alok Verma from his post.
Saying that the Modi government, in a “cowardly fashion”, is “firing bullets from the shoulder of the CVC to damage the independence of the CBI,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media that the CVC does not have the authority to appoint or remove a CBI director.
“CVC report is not a gospel truth to form the entire and sole basis for the committee to remove Verma,” said Singhvi.
“The high-powered selection committee has removed CBI Chief Alok Verma based on allegations of Rakesh Asthana, whose plea to quash the FIR against him was dismissed by High Court on Friday. Delhi HC has ordered a time-bound investigation against him. Is it not strange that Rakesh Asthana, who himself is under investigation in an FIR, was the basis of CBI chief Alok Verma’s removal,” asked Singhvi.
Terming charges levelled by the CVC against Verma as “laughable and trivial,” Singhvi said six out of the 10 allegations made by the CVC are considered unsubstantiated by the CVC itself, and regarding one of the remaining 4 charges, the CVC report says that there is “no evidence of payment of bribe.”
On the charge of Verma accepting a Rs two crore bribe, Singhvi read out a paragraph of the CVC findings to the media. The paragraph reads, “There is however, no direct evidence on the allegations of payment of bribe of Rs 2 crore to Shri Alok Verma from Shri Satish Sana.”
Alleging that the high-powered selection committee did not hear Veram’s side of the story despite Mallikarjun Kharge’s insistence, Singhvi said the former CBI director should have been granted “natural justice.”
However, when asked about the issues raised by Alok Verma regarding functioning of the premier investigative agency in his resignation letter, Singhvi denied any comment.
Findings of the CVC report can be read here: