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Centre removed CBI director to prevent probe into Rafale deal, says Bhushan

By PTI Updated: Oct 27, 2018 11:11 pm

Chandigarh, Oct. 27 (PTI): Supreme Court lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan Saturday alleged that the Centre divested CBI Director Alok Verma of his duties to prevent him from investigating the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.
He also welcomed the apex court’s directions to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete an inquiry into the corruption allegations against Verma within two weeks.
The government removed Verma overnight as it was worried about him ordering an investigation into the Rafale deal, Bhushan told reporters here.
Bhushan, along with former BJP minister Yashwant Singh and senior journalist Arun Shourie had submitted a written complaint to the CBI alleging corruption in the Rafale deal.

“Verma had become independent as he had a fixed two-year tenure. The government turned nervous when the CBI director met us after we submitted a complaint to him in connection with the Rafale deal,” Bhushan claimed.
He asked why the government is not ordering a Joint Parliamentary Committee or CBI probe or a CAG audit into the Rafale deal.
Bhushan lauded the Supreme Court’s order which came on a plea filed by Verma challenging the government’s decision divesting him of his duties and sending him on leave.

“It is good that the Supreme Court has intervened in the matter and the inquiry against Verma will be conducted under the supervision of retired Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik and it will be done within 14 days,” he said.
He alleged that there could not be a bigger “treachery” in the country than the Rafale deal.

“The deal was announced in violation of mandatory procedures, such as obtaining Service Qualitative Requirements from the IAF service headquarters,” he said.
The government also did not place the matter before the Categorisation Committee or obtained the Acceptance Of Necessity (AON) from the Defence Acquisition Council, he added.

He said the deal agreed to buy 36 aircrafts in ‘fly-away condition’ without any transfer of technology
Bhushan claimed that under the deal signed by the BJP-led NDA government the price of an aircraft is more than double of what was agreed upon in the deal signed by the previous UPA government.

He alleged that under the new deal, offset contract worth tens of thousands of crore was given to a private company which lacks prior experience.

By PTI Updated: Oct 27, 2018 11:11:56 pm