Top CBI officers sent on leave to restore agency’s integrity: Arun Jaitley

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New Delhi: The Centre’s decision to remove CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana is based on the CVC’s recommendations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday. He said the move was absolutely essential and intended to restore the agency’s institutional integrity and credibility.

Jaitley told reporters that the Central Vigilance Commission made its recommendations last evening. The top two officers of the country’s premier investigation agency led to a “bizarre and unfortunate” situation, he added.

A Special Investigation Team will probe the charges and both persons will “sit out” as an interim measure, the Finance Minister said and added that it is an extraordinary situation, and the accused cannot be allowed to be in charge of investigation against them.

Jaitley also dismissed as “rubbish” allegations of opposition parties, including the Congress, that Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In a swipe at them, Jaitley said their allegations indicate they had access to what was going in the mind of the officer concerned, an apparent reference to Verma. That itself demolishes the integrity of the person they are trying to support, he said.

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