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CBI director files reply; DIG tells SC biggies 'interfered'

CBI director files reply; DIG tells SC biggies interfered

NEW DELHI: CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma Monday filed in the Supreme Court his response on the findings of the CVC's preliminary probe report on corruption charges against him in a sealed cover.

The apex court had earlier in the day asked Verma to file his response "as quickly as possible" during the day" and made it clear that it will not adjourn the scheduled hearing on Tuesday after his lawyer sought more time.

"Even though we sought a little time from the court, the sealed cover reply of Verma was filed with the secretary general at 1 pm," lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing Verma said.

The apex court, on November 16, had asked Verma to file his response in a sealed cover to the preliminary probe report of the Central Vigilance Commission on corruption charges against the CBI Director by 1 pm on Monday.

Earlier, the apex court had said that the CVC has made some "very uncomplimentary" findings in its probe on corruption allegations against Verma and wanted further investigations into some of the charges which required more time, adding there were also some "very complimentary" conclusions.

Summing up the "exhaustive" confidential report of the CVC given to it, the court ordered that its copy along with the annexure be given to Verma in a sealed cover.

Meanwhile, in a petition filed before the Supreme Court, CBI deputy inspector general MK Sinha has claimed that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval interfered in the investigations against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and even stymied a search to be carried out at Asthana's residence.

Sinha, who supervised the bribery probe against Asthana and was among officers transferred en masse in October, has alleged that the two middlemen involved in the case were close to Doval.

Sinha also claimed before the Supreme Court that a union minister of state took "a few crores" as a bribe to intervene on behalf of a businessman on the agency's radar.

The CBI officer said that he had "documents that will shock the court". He said his transfer was aimed at "changing the course of the investigation" and help Rakesh Asthana.

"Nothing shocks us," replied Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, rejecting his request for an urgent hearing.

The officer, who was also in charge of the bank scam investigations against celebrity jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, alleges that his transfer in the early hours of October 24 was "arbitrary, motivated and malafide, and was made solely with the purpose and intent to victimise the officer as the investigation revealed cogent evidence against certain powerful persons."

Sinha's petition also alleges intervention in this case by many in the government.

Among them is Law Secretary Suresh Chandra, who says Sinha "waded into the issue". Rekha Rani, an IAS officer, allegedly contacted Satish Sana on behalf of the Law Secretary.

Satish Sana spoke to him on Whatsapp, says the petition.

Chandra responding to the claims, said: "This is all false. I never went to London; I don't know who Satish Sana or Rekha Rani is. It is a complete fabrication."

Sinha also alleges that Chief Vigilance Commissioner KV Chowdary "called Rakesh Asthana and made inquiries" and the officer told him there was not much evidence against him.

"The matter is before the Supreme Court; it is inappropriate to communicate with the media in this regard," the CVC said.

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