Govt appoints Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI chief

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Two suspects seen outside the residence of Alok Verma, the CBI director who was sent on leave, have been held by his private security officers on Thursday.

The government statement said "this has been done as an interim measure and will subsist till the CVC concludes its inquiry into all issues which have given rise to the present extra-ordinary and unprecedented situation and till the CVC and/or Government of India takes an appropriate decision in accordance with the law as regards to the measures to be adopted as a effect thereof".

The CVC, which received details of the charges both officers had levelled against each other, made its recommendations last evening as an "accused or potential accused" can not be allowed to be in charge of investigation against them, Jaitley told reporters.

He said, in the interest of fair play, and to maintain the institutional integrity of CBI, the two officers will go on leave as an interim measure.

Verma states that there are occasions when certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government.

Four men were arrested outside CBI Director chief Alok Verma's home in Delhi on Wednesday morning, allegedly for suspiciously skulking around the house.

An extraordinary meeting of ACC was called following which it was made a decision to appoint Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI director. Then, a fresh set of orders giving charge of work supervised by Asthana and who all would be part of the team investigating charges against Verma and Asthana were issued.

There was no immediate comment either from the government or the ruling BJP on the allegations levelled by opposition parties.

Verma has moved the top court under Article 32 of the Constitution. The Congress also dubbed the action as "last nail" in the independence of the CBI. Systematic dismantling and denigrating of CBI is now complete. This had led some to speculate that Verma wanted to launch an investigation on the Rafale deal.

"PM Modi seeks to achieve surreptitiously and clandestinely what he can't do directly to sack the CBI director".

As the controlling authority for the CBI, Chief Vigilance Commissioner KV Chowdary had submitted his recommendation on Tuesday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi - that Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana and many other officers be sent on compulsory leave.

The petition also said that as the apex court has repeatedly stated that CBI ought to be insulated from the government, the present actions give serious credence to the requirement that the agency be given independence from the DoPT.