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CBI team probing Asthana remains unchanged; Alok Verma issues transfer orders

Friday, January 11, 2019

New Delhi: Reinstated CBI chief Alok Verma Thursday retained the team probing the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana, minutes after Deputy Inspector General M K Sinha requested to recuse himself from taking charge of the investigation, officials said.

Verma, who joined back after having been reinstated by the Supreme Court Wednesday, had issued orders cancelling all the transfers affected by interim chief M Nageswar Rao. A 1979-batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer, Verma issued an order according to which V Murugesan will continue to hold the post of Joint Director of Anti Corruption Unit-III, which is probing the case against Asthana.

After Sinha sought to recuse himself, the CBI chief asked Deputy Inspector General Tarun Gauba to continue supervising the investigations of the unit probing Asthana, who was sent on leave by the government along with Verma on October 23 last year.

In a fresh reshuffle ordered by Verma, who resumed duty Wednesday after 77- day-long forced leave, Sinha has now been given the charge of Anti-Corruption Unit-I along with banking, securities and frauds cell. Earlier Sinha was to join the AC-III but he sought to recuse himself because of recent developments amidst an ongoing feud between Verma and Asthana, the officials said. DIG Sinha is understood to have conveyed to the CBI director that in the interest of the investigation he may not be handed over the probe, they said.

Joint Director A K Sharma, who was overall in-charge of the probe against Asthana before Verma was sent on leave in October, will supervise the work of Anti-Corruption Unit-I, which handles sensitive corruption cases related to defence deals among others.

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