Bringing an end to the months-long and unprecedented feud in the premier investigation in the country, a high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday removed Alok Verma as the CBI director. The panel found that he had not been functioning with integrity expected of him. Verma, whose fixed tenure of two years was to end on January 31, is the first chief in the 55-years of the CBI's history to face such action, officials said.
Here is the complete timeline of the unprecedented feud in the country’s premier investigation agency:
January 2017: On January 19, 2017 the government appoints Alok Verma (then Delhi Police Commissioner) as director of CBI after a three-member selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as members clears his name.
September 20, 2018: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) launches a fact-finding probe against Verma based on a complaint filed by Rakesh Asthana. Asthana alleges that Verma has sought to impede his functioning, interfere in investigations and malign his reputation on the basis of unverified facts. Asthana claims that Verma asked him to call off the planned raids against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in Patna last year at the eleventh hour when raiding teams were already in place.
September 21, 2018: CBI says Rakesh Asthana's complaint to the CVC against its chief Alok Verma is "malicious" and "frivolous".
September 24: Alok Verma, senior CBI official met Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary and submitted some documents in the matter.
October 4, 2018: Lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Union minister Arun Shourie meet Verma, demanding a probe into alleged corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal and offset contract.
October 9, 2018: Reports claim that the government was 'unhappy' with Verma meeting Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan.
October 16, 2018: The CBI arrests Manoj Prasad, believed to be a middleman, when he returned from Dubai.
October 21, 2018: CBI books Asthana on the allegations of receiving bribe from an accused probed by him in a case linked to meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
October 22, 2018: CBI arrests deputy SP Devender Kumar in bribery case involving Asthana. The CBI says Kumar fabricated the statement of Sathish Sana, a witness in the Quershi case, showing he recorded the statement on Septemebr 26, 2018 in Delhi. However, investigation has revealed that Sana was was not in Delhi, he was in Hyderabad on that day and joined the investigation only on October 1, 2018.
October 22: PM Modi summons Alok Verma and Asthana. Reports say the two officials have been told to make amends as the image of the organisation has taken a beating in the public eye.
October 23: Rakesh Asthana moves Delhi HC on FIR against him in bribery case.
October 23: CBI DSP Devender Kumar is sent to 7-day police custody.
October 23: CBI claims in court that an 'extortion' racket was being run from the HQ, pretending to be investigation.
October 23: Asthana gets interim protection from arrest till October 29.
October 24: Verma and Asthana are sent on leave. M Nageshwar Rao appointed interim CBI director with immediate effect.
October 24: CBI reshuffles team probing case against Asthana.
October 24: Alok Verma moves Supreme Court against government order.
October 24: Opposition slams government for sending Alok Verma on leave.
October 25: Four men belonging to the Intelligence Bureau are caught outside the official residence of Verma.
October 25: NGO Common Cause moves SC challenging Verma's removal.
October 26: Asthana moves SC against forced leave.
October 26: SC hears Alok Verma's plea against Centre's move. The apex court sets a deadline of two weeks for CVC to complete the inquiry against Verma. The court bars Nageswara Rao from taking any policy decision or any major decision.
October 29: HC slams CBI, Centre for not filing reply on Asthana plea.
November 8: Alok Verma meets CVC, denies corruption charges against him.
November 9: Alok Verma appears before CVC, rejects corruption charges.
November 12: SC adjourns the court proceedings. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul takes the CVC report on record and fixes the next hearing on November 16.
November 16: SC hears Verma's plea challenging Centre's order divesting him of his duties.
January 8, 2019: The Supreme Court quashes government order and reinstates Verma with a condition that the high-powered selection committee will decide his fate in a week.
January 10: The high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removes CBI director as the CBI director after finding that he had not been functioning with integrity expected of
him. He is appointed Director General Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union Home Ministry.