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CBI feud: Alok Verma counters corruption charges before CVC panel; Asthana could not get an audience

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Friday appeared before a panel headed by Central K V and countered for the second consecutive day the corruption charges levelled against him by Special Rakesh Asthana, who followed him to the office of the anti-corruption watchdog but could not get an audience, officials said.

Asthana came to the (CVC) office at around 4.45 PM and stayed there for around 10 minutes, but could not meet any senior as there was no scheduled appointment.

Verma is understood to have given point-wise refusal to all the allegations levelled by Asthana before the panel comprising Vigilance Commissioners T M Bhasin and Sharad Kumar, they said.

Justice A K Patnaik, a retired judge, who has been asked by the apex court to supervise the CVC inquiry was also present, the officials said.

Verma came to the CVC office early Friday morning and stayed there for about an hour, they said.

He did not speak to the media waiting outside the CVC office.

The had on October 26 asked the to complete within two weeks its inquiry into the allegations against Verma levelled by Asthana.

The two-week time limit ends on Sunday and the is scheduled to hear the matter on Monday.

Feuding officers Verma and Asthana have been sent on leave by the

Besides Verma, Asthana also had on Thursday met

Asthana, who also met on Thursday, is understood to have given documentary evidence in support of his charges levelled against Verma, the officials said.

On Friday, the Special again visited the CVC office. "He could not meet Central or any of the Vigilance Commissioners as they, along with other senior officials of the commission, were in a meeting," one of the officials said, requesting anonymity.

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

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

These officials, who had recorded their statements included those who had handled the bribery case, IRCTC scam involving former railway Lalu Prasad, and the cattle smuggling case in which a was caught with wands of cash in

The Supreme Court had directed that the CVC's inquiry into the allegations against 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 Justice A K and this was a "one-time exception".

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

The CBI had on October 15 registered the FIR against Asthana for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Hyderabad-based Babu which was given through two middlemen and to sabotage the probe against meat exporter

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

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 20:20 IST