The ongoing CBI war between the Director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana has revealed a vital information about Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s case in the IRCTC Scam.
Verma has made some startling disclosures about a joint nexus between Asthana, BJP Leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi along with an unnamed person from Prime Minister’s Office.
While the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) submitted its report to the Supreme Court, Verma was given an opportunity to challenge the same. Verma claimed that Modi Government had no respect for the autonomy of CBI as an institution and this led to the crisis within, that the agency is facing currently.
Asthana had accused Verma of weakening the case against the RJD Leader, however, the CBI Director not only refuted the allegation but also alleged that this charge on him could be politically motivated.
Verma’s Responses to CVC’s Allegations
- CVC questions Verma with regards to the IRCTC scam investigation challenging why he opted only for a preliminary enquiry instead of a regular case (RC), for which Asthana had sought permission
- Verma replied that important information, that ‘a complaint had been filed related to this matter was sent to CBI in 2013-14 and was closed’, had been suppressed from him by then Additional Director Rakesh Asthana
- Further Verma repeatedly alleged that this had become political as Asthana was regularly in touch with Sushil Modi and a senior official from the PMO. He also alleged that the official from Prime Minister’s office was constantly following up on this case
- Considering that the law and order situation in Bihar could be hampered, Verma felt it was necessary to exercise caution while following due process in an almost 11-12 year old case
- According to Verma, the evidence in the case was weak and more material needed to be sought before filing a RC
- Further, he had to be extra-cautious after the fall out between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav
- On allegations of not including the name of IRCTC Director, Rakesh Saxena, the CBI Director said that these charges were only brought to his notice by Asthana when the preliminary enquiry turned into a RC. He also cited that Asthana made these allegations on him only after a well thought out plan after CBI booked him
- Verma said his stance could be substantiated from a search proposal dated 04th July, 2017 terming it as ‘factually incorrect’. However, it was only after approving the draft FIR, Asthana raised the issue of Saxena’s missing name and the same was then on 5th July, 2017
- Verma also questions the motive behind Asthana raising this issue after more than one year
Involvement of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Since the CBI wanted to take precautions of law and order before raiding the then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav and former two chief minister’s residence, they had to keep Nitish Kumar in the know-how. Verma was also concerned of a constant enquiry from the PMO’s office about the progress in the case.
Lastly, Verma concludes that he can very well name the senior official from the PMO along with other persons who had been privy to all discussions and possibly responsible in luring the Chief Minister of Bihar and winning his confidence.
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