New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his office, CVC K.V. Chowdary and the DoPT of hatching a “nefarious conspiracy” to divest CBI Director Alok Verma of his duties fearing investigation into the Rafale deal.
“Midnight intrigue, sinister plot and nefarious conspiracy of a collusive subterfuge between the Modi government and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has now been unravelled,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference here.
He alleged that through the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and CVC, CBI Director was removed from his office at midnight.
Giving the details of the conspiracy to divest Verma, Surjewala said, “Chowdary was set to go to Denmark on October 23. And he cancelled his trip just to hold a meeting and issue the order against Verma.”
The Congress leader said that on Tuesday night around 11 p.m., CBI Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was informed to reach agency’s headquarters anticipating the CVC’s order.
The Congress leader claimed that around 11.30 P.M. Delhi Police Commissioner alerted his subordinates on an operation. They were asked to reach the Khan Market area, a few km away from the CBI headquarters. And then at midnight, Commissioner told his team that the Delhi Police would take over the CBI headquarters.
“But when the Delhi Police reached the agency headquarters, it found CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) stationed there. They were stopped from entering. Later, the CISF received an order to allow Delhi Police, which then took over the CBI headquarters,” he claimed.
He further said that the by the time Delhi Police was taking over the CBI headquarters, Chowdary was writing his order. “The CVC order then reached the office of Secretary, DoPT, C Chandramouli as he was still waiting for the orders in his office till late in the night,” he said.
“Chandramouli then takes the order to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments around 1 a.m., whose Chairperson is the Prime Minister and they remove Verma as Director and appoint Rao as interim chief of the agency,” Surjewala said.
Surjewala claimed that around 2.30 a.m. the CVC and Lok Ranjan, who is the Additional Secretary of DoPT, reaches CBI headquarters. They then come out with Rao along with files and records of the Rafale scam which were in Verma’s office.
The Congress leader pointed out that under Section 4A and 4B of the Delhi Police Establishment Act, 1946, the CBI Director can only be appointed or transferred or removed by the Selection Committee comprising of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
“It (action against Verma) was done because on the morning of October 24, the complaint on Rafale deal submitted by BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie was going to be investigated by Verma,” he said, adding that it was also the reason for the transfer of 12 officials of the agency after Verma was divested of his powers.
Slamming Modi, the Congress leader said, “Only the Prime Minister can answer these questions. People are demanding answers for this conspiracy.”
Firing salvos at the government, he said “Why did the CVC Commissioner cancel his Denmark tour scheduled for October 23, call a midnight meeting and pass an illegal order for divesting the CBI Director of all his duties? Why was Rao sent to CBI office at 11.00 p.m. on October 23 even before the order was passed by CVC?”
“Why was Delhi Police asked to take over the CBI HQ at midnight, particularly when it is already protected by CISF? Who directed Delhi Police to take over CBI office and who directed CISF to withdraw?
“Were any incriminating files and documents removed from the office of Verma? Who removed them and for what purpose,” he asked.