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CVC still waiting for CBI report on year-old secret note with allegations against Asthana


New Delhi| The Central Vigilance Commission has said it is still awaiting an action taken a report from the CBI on a “secret note” carrying allegations against Rakesh Asthana which it had received during a selection committee meeting last year to consider his elevation as Special Director of the investigation agency.

In its order on Monday recommending divesting CBI Director Alok Verma of all his powers, the CVC said it had sent the note to Verma seeking a report but it was yet to receive the same despite “several reminders” and the matter could be taken to logical conclusion only after receipt of the reply.

The secret note was given to the CVC during the selection committee meeting held on October 21, 2017 to consider the then Assistant Director Asthana’s promotion as Special Director, but is not clear who submitted that note.

The CVC said it had written to Verma on September 25, 2018 to furnish an interim report on investigation carried out so far on the allegations levelled in the secret note.

But the agency failed to produce any such documents or investigations which could corroborate those allegations against Asthana, it added.

In a unanimous decision, the selection committee at that time had cleared Asthana’s elevation as Special Director and a public interest litigation against its decision was rejected by the Supreme Court.

“The Committee discussed and the CBI Director (Alok Verma) who was to be consulted has been consulted. He has given his frank and free views on all the categories of the appointments to be made,” the Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary had said at a press conference after the meeting.

Chowdary had said Verma’s views were taken into account and unanimous recommendations were made to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for the elevation.

“The selection committee has recommended the appointment as per the agenda…Whatever views he (CBI Director) has given whether you consider it as acceptance or dissent, they have been taken note of… Whether his views were opposed or in favour for somebody that is not appropriate for me to comment on,” he had said.

Chowdary had said the clearance from a CVC committee is required for the appointment and promotion of officers from the ranks of Superintendent of Police up to Special Director.

The five-person committee comprised the Central Vigilance Commissioner as Chairperson, besides two vigilance commissioners and two secretaries of the Government of India — Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, and Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, as members.

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