Recently a tussle between CBI’s No.1 and No.2 was used by the anti-Modi brigade very well. Rahul Gandhi went on to link the clash within CBI to the Rafale deal. The Congress party used its lobby and tried to re-instate Alok Verma, who was sent on leave, as the CBI director and attacked CBI’s No.2 Rakesh Asthana.
But when the CVC report was out, it was revealed that Alok Verma was on the wrong side. Based on this, a selection committee that comprised of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Justice of India’s representative justice AK Sikri, and the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, met and the panel in a 2:1 decision (Kharge dissented) removed Alok Verma as the head of the CBI on January 10.
This was the first setback to the lobby and in another setback, the Supreme Court on 31st January has dismissed a petition challenging his appointment as DG of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). This petition was filed in the Supreme Court on January 23 challenging the appointment of the former CBI Special Director as Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
This has come as a big relief to Alok Verma, who is said to be played a major role in fighting the extradition case of liquor baron Vijay Mallya in United Kingdom.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi headed the bench and he dismissed it saying “You can’t bring everything under the sky of a PIL. You have mixed multiple issues” and slammed the petitioner ML Sharma.
This has been a big victory of Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the Gujarat cadre. Now he is in the race to become the CBI chief but the only barrier is that his name should be cleared in the corruption case registered against him. He has two more years of service as he will retire on July 31, 2021.