Justice AK Patnaik, a former Supreme Court judge, who was tasked to supervise the alleged corruption investigations by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), against Alok Verma, has told NDTV that there is "no evidence" of corruption against the former CBI chief.
"The removal of Alok Verma by the PM-led panel was a very very hasty decision," said Justice Patnaik, adding that the "findings of the CVC are not mine." The probe against Mr Verma was entirely based on the complaint of CBI special director, Rakesh Asthana.
Mr Verma was removed as the CBI chief and transferred as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards. He refused to take up the new job and sent his resignation to the government on Friday. In his resignation letter, Mr Verma said, "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." He called the situation a moment of "collective introspection".
"Very, very hasty decision," says Justice Patnaik on ex-CBI chief Alok Verma's removal
"As a career bureaucrat, it is the idea of my integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service," Mr Verma had said in his resignation letter.
Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge, who was part of the three-member committee led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had sent a dissent note in the decision to remove Mr Verma from the top post in the CBI. PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri, who was representing Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had favoured Mr Verma's removal.
Mr Verma, who was forced to go on leave after alleged corruption charges with his number 2 Rakesh Asthana, was reinstated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.