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Axed CBI director Alok Verma tells government to treat him ‘deemed superannuated’

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New Delhi | Former CBI director Alok Verma, ousted by a high powered committee, on Friday asked the government to treat him “deemed superannuated” with immediate effect.

Refusing to take on his new assignment as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, Verma wrote to Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, stating the selection committee has not provided him an opportunity to explain the details as recorded by the CVC before arriving at the decision of transferring him.

Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer from AGMUT cadre, was transferred from the position of CBI director to Director General, Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards under the Home Ministry Thursday.

The move came after a high powered selection committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice A K Sikri and leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, in a split verdict, decided to transfer him 21 days ahead of the completion of his tenure.

“Natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down in ensuring that the undersigned is removed from the post of the director CBI. The selection committee did not consider the fact that the entire CVC report is premised on charges alluded by a complainant who is presently under investigation by the CBI,” Verma said in a veiled reference to Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

He said it may be noted that the CVC only forwarded a purportedly signed statement of the complainant (Asthana), and the complainant never came before Justice (Retd) A K Patnaik who is supervising the enquiry.

“Also, Justice Patnaik has concluded that the findings and conclusions of the report are not his,” the 61-year-old said.

He said institutions are one of the strongest and most visible symbols of the democracy and it was no exaggeration that the CBI is one of the most important organisations in India today.

“The decisions made yesterday will not just be a reflection on my functioning but will become a testimony on how the CBI as an institution will be treated by any government through the CVC, who is appointed by majority members of the ruling government. This is a moment for collective introspection to state the least,” he said.

The former Delhi police commissioner said he is a career bureaucrat and it is the idea of his integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service.

“I have served the Indian Police Service with an unblemished record and have headed police forces in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Mizoram, Delhi and also headed two organisations Delhi Prisons and CBI, he said.

Thanking officers of the organisations he headed and police officers, Verma said all these organisations reported outstanding achievements, having a direct bearing on the performance of the force and their welfare.

“Also, it may be noted that the undersigned would have already superannuated as on July 31, 2017 and was only serving the government as director, CBI till January 31, 2019 as the same was a fixed tenure role. The undersigned is no longer director, CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. Accordingly. the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today,” he wrote.

Kharge, who has opposed his appointment as the CBI director in 2017, had not sided with the other two members of high powered panel in shifting him from the agency.

The Congress leader had instead asked for extending his tenure by 77 days, the period on which he was on forced leave besides advocating that Verma should be given a chance to appear before the committee and present his case.

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Ensure justice to two Hindu girls: Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan

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Sushma Swaraj India

New Delhi | External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday asked Pakistan to ensure immediate release of the two Hindu girls who were allegedly kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam in Sindh province last week.

“Justice demands that both these girls should be restored to their family immediately,” she tweeted.

Reena and Raveena, hailing from village Hafiz Salman near the town of Daharki in Sindh, were allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert from Hinduism to Islam on March 20, before being married to Muslim men.

“Forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan: The age of the girls is not disputed. Raveena is only 13 and Reena is 15 years old,” Swaraj said.

“Even the Prime Minister on Naya Pakistan will not believe that girls of this tender age can voluntarily decide about their conversion to another religion and marriage,” she said.


A Pakistani high court on Tuesday ordered official protection for the two girls due to concern about their safety as authorities widened a probe to ascertain if the teenage sisters were abducted, forcibly converted and married.

On Sunday, Swaraj tweeted that she asked the Indian envoy in Islamabad to send a report on the incident.

Hours later, India issued a note verbale to Pakistan on the issue, sharing its concerns over the incident and called for suitable remedial action to protect and promote safety, security and welfare of people from the minority communities.

Subsequently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an investigation into the incident.

The Islamabad High Court issued the order on Tuesday after the petition was filed by the girls and their husbands to seek protection from adverse action.

On March 20, the girls’ family lodged a First Information Report against their alleged forced conversion to Islam.

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Implementation of Cong’s minimum income scheme may not be an easy task: Experts

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New Delhi | Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income scheme, aiming to lift five crore families or 25 crore people out of poverty, reflects a commitment to social security, but financing it may be an uphill task, said several leading economists and social scientists.

Gandhi on Monday, announced that under ‘Nyay’ — an acronym for Nyuntam Aay Yojana, Rs 72,000 will be given to the poorest families every year if his party returns to power while calling it a final assault on poverty.

Nyay would require run up an annual bill of Rs 3.60 lakh crore, or around 1.7 per cent of GDP, which, for 2019-20, is pegged at 210 lakh crore. The Congress is yet to spell out how resources will be generated to implement the scheme amid concerns that its implementation may not be fiscally prudent.

“NYAY reflects a welcome commitment to social security. The soundness of this proposal, however, depends on how it is to be financed and how the poorest 20 per cent are to be identified. Hopefully, the proposal will improve even as the commitment remains,” Development Economist Jean Dreze told PTI.

Under the scheme, any family having a monthly income less than Rs 12,000 would receive Rs 6,000 monthly.

Syeda Hameed, former member of Planning Commission gave a thumbs up to the scheme though she admitted that it could result in a “fiscal burden” on the exchequer.

“It can change the face of India. It will be a fiscal burden, but there is enough ill gotten money with billionaires which can be put to use by a leader who is honest and who cares,” she said.

Abhijit Sen, a retired JNU professor who was also a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission said, “It is going to cost a lot of money. And it is going to be an implementation issue.”

Right to food activist Harsh Mander said he welcomed the scheme because it brought the real issues of the poor at the centre of the political discourse and also recognised the inequality prevailing in the country.

“India’s tax to GDP ratio is among the lowest in the world. We are just not taxing the super rich. Our subsidies to the rich and middle class is at least three times as much as we give to the poor, so we need to reorganise our subsidies to include the poor.

“If we have a fully functioning employment guarantee programme, both for urban and rural areas, and if we have an effective pension programme for poor and person with disabilities, then those who still fall through the cracks would be covered by this program,” he said.

Economist Sen suggested that while implementing the scheme, the obvious thing that the Congress can do is to link it to something such as NREGA.

“You don’t identify; people come to work. So, if you can increase the number of days on which the people are eligible to work, that would serve the purpose as far for those who can work.

“For the old and the disabled you just transfer cash transfer. To transfer cash to the working age population, which is a large population, you will need to know their incomes and all that. That is a very difficult thing to do,” he said. PTI DSP ASG MPB

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Happy that women will benefit under NYAY scheme: Priyanka Gandhi

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New Delhi | Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said she’s happy that women will receive Rs 72,000 per year directly into their bank accounts under the minimum income guarantee scheme announced by party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi on Monday announced that Rs 72,000 per year will be given as minimum income to poor families, benefiting around 25 crore people, if his party is voted to power in Lok Sabha polls, and asserted it will be the final assault on poverty.

“So happy that under the NYAY scheme, women will be the ones who receive the annual amount of Rs. 72,000 directly into their accounts. ‘Empower a woman, empower a family’,” Priyanka Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

She said 20 per cent or 5 crore families belonging to the poorest category with monthly income less than Rs 12,000 will benefit under the scheme.

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