A day after the sacking of Alok Verma as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, additional director M Nageswara Rao again took over the top job on Friday. And promptly reversed all decisions taken in the last two days.
Nageswara Rao, who had been made interim chief in October after Alok Verma was sent on forced leave, had personally welcomed him back to the CBI headquarters on Wednesday after he was conditionally reinstated by the Supreme Court.
Mr Verma, after returning to work, reversed many transfers ordered by Mr Rao, mostly of members in his team, and also ordered the transfer of five officers. Every decision now stands cancelled, say sources.
Mr Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre Indian Police Service officer, was again asked to take over by the Department of Personnel and Training last evening, after Mr Verma was removed, 48 hours after his reinstatement, by a high-powered selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Rao first took charge as interim chief under dramatic circumstances on October 23, around 2 am, after Mr Verma was divested of his powers and sent away.
Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number two officer in the agency, was also sent on leave the same day. Both had exchanged vicious charges of corruption, in an unprecedented public feud in the investigating agency.
While reinstating Mr Verma, the Supreme Court had asked the PM Modi-led committee to decide on his status based on a vigilance report on allegations against him. The committee then decided to remove him. In a two-one decision backed by PM Modi and Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was the dissenting member.