The Union Cabinet on Thursday curtailed the tenure of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and three other officers. The officers who have also been relieved from the CBI with immediate effect are Arun Kumar Sharma (Joint Director), Manish Kumar Sinha (DIG), Jayant J Naiknavare (SP). Asthana has been moved to Bureau of Civil Aviation, reports said. This comes a day after Rakesh Asthana moved an application in the Delhi High Court seeking correction in its judgement that asked the CBI to conclude the investigation into bribery allegations against him within 10 weeks. The court had refused to quash an FIR against him. The matter will be heard on Friday. 

Rakesh Asthana and Alok Verma have been at the heart of CBI controversy as both officers had accused each other of corruption. The Supreme Court on Wednesday had agreed to hear a plea against Modi government’s decision to appoint M Nageswara Rao as Interim Director of the CBI. The following week will be eventful with regard to CBI’s future as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel will meet on January 24 to decide on new CBI director.

This came a day after Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked PM Modi for the immediate convening of the selection committee to appoint a new CBI Director without any further delay. Calling the appointment of Nageswara Rao illegal, the Congress leader had said that the government should ensure the integrity of the premier investigative agency. Kharge had submitted a dissent note in the high powered panel that on January 10 had removed Alok Verma as CBI chief.