Alok Verma’s latest posting after his removal as CBI director on Thursday night has surprised several bureaucrats, who described the transfer as “illegal” and “dodgy”.
Their argument is that Verma had reached retirement age on July 31, 2017, and was continuing in service only because he had a fixed two-year term as CBI director till January 31 this year.
“Verma cannot be in the IPS other than as CBI director. How can he be posted as DG fire when he stands retired on July 31, 2017?” a senior IPS officer posted in North Block said.
“This is unlawful, unfair and dodgy,” another bureaucrat said.
Union home ministry officials who spoke to this newspaper on Thursday night too had expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Verma’s latest assignment as director-general of fire services, civil defence and home guards.
Verma made the same point in his letter to the department of personnel and training on Friday, saying he was already superannuated.
“It may be noted that the undersigned would have already superannuated as on July 31, 2017 and was only serving the Government as Director, CBI till January 31, 2019, as the same was a fixed tenure role,” he wrote to Chandramouli C, secretary in the department, which has administrative control over the CBI and reports to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The undersigned is no longer Director, CBI and has already crossed his superannuation age for DG Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards. Accordingly, the undersigned may be deemed as superannuated with effect from today.”
It is not yet known whether the department has accepted Verma’s letter.
An official clarified that Verma, contrary to what many may think, did not tender his resignation.
“He has only refused to take up an assignment as he has already completed his duty as CBI director. Technically, one can resign only after taking charge of an assignment. He refused to join as DG fire,” the official said.
A senior Delhi police officer too questioned the government’s motive behind transferring Verma as DG fire services.
“What purpose does it serve? If there are corruption allegations against Verma, why was he shifted as DG fire? Does corruption not matter when a person is posted as DG fire?” he asked.