3 Days Before PM-Led Panel's Meet On New CBI Chief, More Transfers

3 Days Before PM-Led Panel's Meet On New CBI Chief, More Transfers

NEW DELHI: Interim CBI chief M Nageswara Rao, whose appointment has been challenged in the Supreme Court, transferred 20 officials on Monday. Among those shifted out is the investigating officer of the case probing allegations of loan fraud against fugitive jewelers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

The transfers were ordered just before a high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to pick a new CBI director after the controversial sacking of Alok Verma. The panel meets on Thursday.

According to an official order, SK Nair, who was investigating Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, was transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Mumbai.

Mr Nair has been replaced by A Saravanan, a superintendent of police from Chennai, who was probing the Sterlite protest case.

Vivek Priyadarshi, who was handling the anti-corruption unit investigating the 2G spectrum scam, has also been shifted.

The order said officers specially named to supervise, investigate or inquire into any case by any constitutional court, shall continue to do so.

Nageswara Rao's last set of transfers, in October, had raised questions. He had signed off on the transfers after taking over as interim CBI chief at 2 am on October 23, following a government order sending Alok Verma on forced leave.

Alok Verma challenged the move and was partially reinstated by the Supreme Court earlier this month. In the two days that he went to work before he was transferred again by the PM-led committee, he reversed the transfers ordered by Mr Rao, mainly of officers on his team.

Mr Verma also ordered more transfers. All his decisions were scrapped again when Mr Rao returned as interim chief.