National

As Rift In CBI Deepens, Top 2 Sent On Temporary Leave, M Nageshwar Rao Appointed Interim Chief

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 1
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| October 24 , 2018 , 11:54 IST

In an unprecedented turn amidst the internal war in country’s internal investigation agency, the central government sent the top 2 of the agency on temporary leave and appointed M Nageshwar Rao as the interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.

As the CBI vs CBI fight turned ugly the government intervened and sent Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on temporary leave and appointed Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao as the interim director of the investigative agency.

An official statement from the Centre read, “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved that during the period of the subsistence of the aforesaid interim measure, cited in reference above, Shri M Nageshwar Rao, IPS, presently working as Joint Director, CBI shall look after duties and functions of Director CBI and shall take over duties and functions with immediate effect.”

Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of Gujarat cadre, is alleged to have demanded a bribe of Rs 5 crore from a Hyderabad-based businessman through two middlemen to help him get off the hook in the Moin Qureshi case.

Who is M Nageshwar Rao?

 Rao is a 1986 batch Odisha cadre officer. He was serving as the Additional Director General of Odisha Police. He joined as the joint director of the CBI on 7 April, 2016 for a period of 5 years.

A chemistry post-graduate from Osmania University, M Nageshwara Rao did research in Madras IIT before joining the IPS. Rao is believed to be a tough cop and decorated administrator.

CBI Office Sealed

According to media reports, early morning raids were conducted at the CBI Headquarters in New Delhi and the office was sealed and outsiders were not allowed inside. The 10th and 11th floor of the CBI building are being searched. The offices of both Verma and Asthana have also been sealed. However, the building has now been opened.

High Court’s Observation

The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday directed the CBI to maintain status quo on the criminal proceedings that were initiated against Asthana. A trial court had sent a CBI SP, Devender Singh to seven days police remand in connection with the alleged bribery case in which the CBI made Asthana an accused. The HC will hear the matter next on October 29.