Charges levelled against the ousted CBI Director Alok Verma did not warrant his removal and at the very least he should have been given an opportunity to respond to them, said leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in his note of dissent to the high level committee headed by the Prime Minister which decided to remove Verma as Director,CBI.
The 10 charges levelled against Verma, points out the dissent note, included Director, CBI helping cattle smugglers, inducting tainted officers into the agency, inordinate delay in finalizing an investigation report, excluding a suspect from being named as an accused and not acting on intelligence inputs.
Out of the 10 charges, the CVC found six of them to be unsubstantiated’, one ‘partially substantiated’ and three ‘substantiated’. The three charges which the CVC found to have been substantiated include inducting allegedly tainted officers in the CBI and dragging his feet in a gold smuggling case at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Even more curiously, while the CVC found no evidence against Verma of receiving bribes or illegal gratification, on each of these counts, the Central Vigilance Commission recorded that more investigation was needed to substantiate the charges. The CVC clearly was on a fishing expedition.
Not surprisingly, Kharge concluded that the charges were not serious enough to call for the ouster of the CBI Director. In any case, he argued, Verma should in all fairness have been given a chance to present his version to the committee.
The following is a summary of the CVC’s report as recorded in the note of dissent:
1 On allegations of Verma influencing investigations by taking bribes, the CVC report says that there is “no evidence of payment of bribe”, and that “further investigation required for verifying circumstantial evidence”.
2 On allegations of exclusion of a suspect from being named as accused in an FIR of the IRCTC case, the report says the “allegations are substantiated and amount to serious misconduct and warrant disciplinary and other actions”.
The second part of the allegation accuses Verma of attempting to call off searches and raids in Patna, which the CVC report concludes are “not substantiated”.
3 On allegations of inordinate delay in finalising the investigation report against the main accused in a bank fraud case, the report says “allegation found to be correct”.
4 On transfer of FIR related to joint director, CBI, the CVC report says “allegations not substantiated”.
5 On allegations of not taking action on certain intelligence inputs, the report says “allegations not substantiated”.
6 On alleged illegal gratification in ongoing preliminary enquiry against land acquisition in Haryana, the report says, “Allegations not substantiated, further enquiry will be required.”
7 On allegation of failure to take action in a gold smuggling case at IGI airport, the report says, “Allegation partially substantiated; recommended to be re-investigated by a different branch of CBI.”
8 On allegations of helping cattle smugglers involving a BSF commandant posted in Murshidabad, West Bengal, the report says, “Allegations not substantiated.”
9 On allegations of attempts to induct tainted officers into CBI, the report says, “Allegations found to be substantiated.”
10 On allegations of undue interference in CBI cases against Enforcement Directorate officials, the report says the “allegations have either not been substantiated or require further investigation”.