In what can be termed as an embarrassing development for the Modi government, the Central Vigilance Commission inquiry team probing the ₹2 crore bribe allegations against Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma has not found anything “substantial”.
According to sources, the preliminary inquiry report in the case pertaining to Verma was completed on Friday and will be submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday. The report contains a review of the documents submitted by CBI special director Asthana against the CBI chief in his complaint dated August 24.
Verma was sent on leave on October 23, along with CBI special director Rakesh Asthana who is also facing corruption charges.
The investigation against Verma was supervised by former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik. Justice Patnaik was asked by the Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi to supervise the government-ordered CVC inquiry against Verma after the infighting between the two top CBI officers became public knowledge as the two levelled corruption charges against each other.
Just few days before Verma was ordered to go on leave, he had initiated actions against Asthana, believed to be very close to PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, for allegedly accepting ₹2 crore bribe in exchange of a favourable settlement of case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi
One of the reasons cited by the government to justify its leave order for Verma was that there were corruption allegations against the CBI director.
While Asthana had written to the cabinet secretary against his boss on August 24, the CBI had filed an FIR against Asthana on October 15. Asthana has alleged that a ₹2 crore bribe was paid to Verma by Hyderabad-based businessman, Sathish Babu Sana, who is also a co-accused in several cases under probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Almost two months after Asthana's complaint, an FIR was registered against Asthana, CBI DSP Devender Kumar and Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad. The FIR was filed on October 15 based on a complaint by Sana, registered on October 4, that the Prasad had asked him to pay ₹3 crore bribe "in the name of Rakesh Asthana" to stop his "harassment" in Qureshi cases.