Central Bureau of Investigation, the country’s premier probe agency, is in the news for all wrong reasons.

The government undertook a major revamp of the CBI’s top leadership late Tuesday and the agency’s Director Alok Verma, who was involved in a bitter feud with the organisation’s No. 2 officer Rakesh Asthana, was sent on leave and M Nageshwar Rao, a Joint Director within the CBI, was given the charge as the interim CBI Director. Asthana too has been sent on leave. And, 11 other top officers have been been transferred.

According to the government, Alok Verma was not cooperating with the Central Vigilance Commission, which oversees the CBI’s investigations and which is probing complaints made against Verma and other CBI officers.

Soon after coming to the top post, the acting Director ordered a massive overhaul of the CBI’s top hierarchy. Rao transferred a number of officers and relieved several others of their charges within the agency.

Following these dramatic actions, while the opposition cried foul and made allegations against the government, the Centre clarified its stand and said the actions were taken to safeguard the integrity of the agency.

Union Minister Arun Jaitley suggested that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be set up to probe the allegations against Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana.

Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion and this applies to the CBI too. The agency should be cleared of weeds and its actions should be made transparent.

NT Bureau