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

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CBI

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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Govt brought 10 percent quota law to ‘win some votes’: Sitaram Yechury

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Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi | CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday hit out at the Centre over the new law to give 10 per cent quota to economically weaker sections from general category and alleged the move was to “win some votes.”

“An ill-thought and poorly planned proposal which has been pushed by Modi govt only in desperate hope of winning some votes. Why are no funds being made available to central institutions for expansion? Why does Modi govt want to destroy these institutions?” he tweeted.

The bill was introduced by the government and passed amid criticism by the opposition in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament.

He alleged that the government was damaging farmers and no amount of rhetoric can make up for the loss.

“No amount of jumlas and tamashas can cover up the kind of wilful damage caused to farmers by Modi government, the worst and most callous in independent India’s history,” he said.

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Supreme Court asks search committee on Lokpal to recommend names by Feb end

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New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed a February end deadline for the search committee on Lokpal to recommend the panel of names for appointment of the first anti-graft ombudsman of the country.

The search committee is headed by former apex court judge Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai,

A bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the Centre to provide the search committee with the requisite infrastructure and manpower to enable it to complete its work.

The bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and S K Kaul, said it would hear the matter again on March 7.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench there were certain problems like lack of infrastructure and manpower due to which the search committee was not able to hold deliberations on the issue.

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BJP not involved in any operation to topple Cong-JDS government: Yeddyurappa

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Yeddyurappa

Bengaluru | BJP Karnataka chief B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said no member of his party was involved in any operation to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

With the ongoing power tussle between the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and BJP in Karnataka intensifying, both sides have been trading charges of trying to poach each other’s MLAs.

“The BJP has nothing do with ruling coalition MLAs who are in Mumbai,” the former Chief Minister said and accused the Congress and JD(S) of trying to shift the blame on his party to cover up their ‘failures and inability’ to keep their flock together. “No one from the BJP has indulged in any kind of operation or luring Congress-JD(S) MLAs.

We had gathered all our MLAs atone place and were discussing about the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls for the last two-three days. Todayall are coming back,” Yeddyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters here, he hit out at the Congress leaders, saying they talk about the Constitution, but everyone was aware of how they played with it since 1960. “Why do they have to fear if we gather our MLAs, I don’t understand. Internal fight within Congress and JD(S) is going out of control… to cover up their internal squabbles, they should not blame the BJP,” he added.

Yeddyurappa, who was in New Delhi and Gurugram along with 104 BJP MLAs for the last few days, returned to the city to visit the ailing 111-year-old prominent seer Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga mutt in Tumakuru district.

Reacting to Congress-JD(S) leaders’ claims that some BJP MLAs were in touch with them, Yeddyurappa said, “We are together. You (Congress-JD(S) have said four to five MLAs are in your contact. Call them. Let me see.

If your MLAs have gone to Mumbai or Delhi, what do we have to do with it? It is -Congress-JD(S)- your duty to keep your legislators intact. No one is in touch with us…I’mtelling you,”he added.

The Leader of Opposition in the assembly also questioned as to who the leaders of Congress-JD(S) combine were to question his party about camping in Gurugram. “Who are they to ask where we are going? You try tokeep your MLAs intact, why are you blaming us? Tomorrow they (Congress) have called their legislature party meeting. how many will come it will be known, their true colours will come out tomorrow.” “Without understanding that your MLAs are dissatisfied and disgruntled, don’t unnecessarily put blame on BJP,” Yeddyurppa said.

Pointing out that during S M Krishna’s chief ministership, Maharashtra MLAs were kept at a resort in Mysuru, and recently Gujarat MLAs were put up in a resort in Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa questioned as to “where did Congress’ democracy go then?”

Hitting out at Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Yeddyurappa said despite being taught a lesson by the people ofChamundeshwari constituency, he had notlearnt anything.

Siddaramaiah lost the Chamundeshwari assembly seat in the May polls, though he won from Badami. Lashing out at the BJP and calling it “shameless” for allegedly luring ruling coalition MLAs, Siddaramaiah on Wednesday had said that Yeddyurappa has grown old, but has no wisdom.

Yeddyurappa also targeted former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and called him “a political opportunist”. “…all his fights and principles are only limited to secure his and his family’s political interests.People of the state are well aware of Deve Gowda’s use and throw policy,” hesaid.

Targeting Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Yeddyurappa said 156 taluks were in the grip of drought, but the chief minister and his ministers are not working effectively. “What are you doing? Who is travelling- Chief Ministers and Ministers- What steps have you taken when farmers are in distress?” he questioned. “In such a grave situation, without doing your duty, you are trying to shift the blame on BJP. You will not gain anything from it,” he said.

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