CBI’s Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana Meet Corruption Watchdog Chief

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Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana met KV Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar

New Delhi:

CBI Director Alok Verma Thursday met Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary and is said to have refuted corruption charges levelled against him by his deputy and special director in the probe agency Rakesh Asthana, officials said.

Mr Verma came to the CVC office around 1 pm and met Mr Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar, they said, without citing any other details.

The Supreme Court had on October 26 asked the Central Vigilance Commission to complete within two weeks its inquiry into allegations against Mr Verma levelled by Mr Asthana.

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Both of them have been sent on leave by the government.

Officials said MR Asthana also met Mr Chowdary and Mr Kumar, the officials said.

The Commission had recently examined some CBI officials probing crucial cases which figured in Asthana's complaint of corruption against the probe agency's chief Mr Verma, they said.

The officials said CBI personnel from the rank of inspector up to superintendent of police were called and their versions recorded before a senior CVC official.

These officials, who had recorded their statements included those who had handled the Moin Qureshi bribery case, the IRCTC scam, involving former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, the cattle smuggling case in which a senior BSF officer was caught with wands of cash in Kerala.

The Supreme Court had directed that the CVC's inquiry into the allegations against Mr Verma, who has challenged the government's decision divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave, would be conducted under the supervision of retired top court judge Justice A K Patnaik and this was a "one-time exception".

The feud between Mr Verma and Mr Asthana escalated recently leading to registration of an FIR against the latter and others including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in the CBI custody in an alleged bribery case.

The CBI had on October 15 registered the FIR against Mr Asthana for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Sathish Babu which was given through two middlemen Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad to sabotage the probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

On August 24, Mr Asthana, in his complaint to the Cabinet Secretary, had levelled allegations against Mr Verma that he got a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Mr Sana to help him get some relief from questioning in the matter.

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