Game of transfers? After withdrawing transfer orders by interim CBI boss, Alok Verma relocates five officers

The move raised questions as a high-powered committee met at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home to decide on his future, on whether he will continue in the post with full powers and on his successor.

New Delhi: On Thursday, Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma ordered the transfer of five officers of the agency, according to several media reports.

Joint Director Ajay Bhatnagar, Deputy Inspector General MK Sinha, Deputy Inspector General Tarun Gauba, Joint Director Murugesan and Additional Director AK Sharma were the officers transferred by Verma, agency sources told ANI.


The move raised questions as a high-powered committee met at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home to decide on his future, on whether he will continue in the post with full powers and on his successor.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court scrapped the government’s midnight order sending Verma on compulsory leave and replacing him with an interim CBI director. But while restoring him to his post, the court ruled that he would not take any major policy decisions until a high-powered selection committee featuring the PM, the Chief Justice of India or his representative and the leader of the largest opposition party decided on his status.

Verma, who joined office after a 77-day exile on Wednesday, issued two orders “withdrawing” almost all the transfers ordered by the CBI’s additional director M Nageswar Rao on 24 October, 2018, and 3 January, 2019.

On Thursday, suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar, a co-accused in the Asthana bribery case, approached the Delhi High Court against Verma’s decision to annul these transfers.

Rao assumed office in the wake of the unprecedented late-night order on 23 October, 2018, which ousted Verma and which was later set aside by the Supreme Court.

Verma’s transfer orders come at a time when it was largely thought that his wings would be clipped after the apex court order that reinstated him limited his activities to non-policy decisions. Verma has fewer than three weeks left in office and is scheduled to retire on 31 January.