CBI Corruption Charges: Director Alok Verma Appears Before CVC

The CBI director had met officials from the Central Vigilance Commission of Thursday, denying all charges of corruption made against him by his deputy Rakesh Asthana.

New Delhi: CBI director Alok Verma on Friday met central vigilance commissioner K.V. Chowdary for the second consecutive day. On Thursday, he had denied the corruption charges levelled against him by his deputy and the agency’s special director Rakesh Asthana.

Verma appeared before the panel inquiring into the CBI’s internal dispute, headed by Chowdary and comprising vigilance commissioners Sharad Kumar and T.M. Bhasin among others. He arrived without a lawyer.

Verma was supposed to depose on Thursday, but the session had to be rescheduled due to the unavailability of one of the vigilance commissioners.

The Supreme Court had on October 26 asked the Central Vigilance Commission to complete within two weeks its inquiry into the allegations against Verma levelled by Asthana.

Verma and Asthana have been sent on leave by the government.

Verma had also on Thursday met Chowdary and Kumar in connection with the inquiry.

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According to the Indian Express, Verma had denied the charges against him in written replies that he had submitted earlier this week. The director denied that he had tried to stop a raid against former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the IRCTC case, when Yadav is said to have leased to hotel in violation of norms when he was the railways minister.

Asthana had claimed that Verma attempted to stall raids on Yadav in April. Asthana also said Verma was responsible for the delay in the departure of a CBI joint director, as the director did not provide permission to travel to Patna. According to the Indian Express, Verma pointed out that Yadav was chargesheeted with his approval.

The CBI director also responded to questions about the Moin Quireshi bribery case, in which Asthana is alleged to have taken a sum of Rs 2 crore to halt further action against Qureshi, a meat exporter. Questions were also asked about Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, a witness for the same case.

Asthana had also met the CVC on Thursday, giving documentary evidence to support the charges he has levelled against Verma.

The deadline to finish the probe, set by the Supreme Court, concludes on Sunday. The matter is scheduled to be heard on Monday.

(With PTI inputs)

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