New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has defended its director, Alok Verma, and raised questions about special director Rakesh Asthana’s intentions, amid a widening of the rift between the two top officials of the investigating agency.

Asthana has reportedly filed a complaint with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) alleging that Verma was impeding his functioning as a special director.

The CBI has on its part said that “the Central Vigilance Commission has sought certain case files from the CBI on the basis of a complaint filed by the special director, CBI. In its response to the Central Vigilance Commission letter, the chief vigilance officer of CBI has pointed out that the complaint is an attempt by the complainant to intimidate the officers of CBI who are investigating his role in at least half a dozen cases."

The Central Vigilance Commission needs to focus closely on “the maintainability of the complaint and consider it malicious and frivolous in order to protect the integrity of the organization," the agency said.

The CBI has pointed out in its letter to the CVC that the issue relating to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. (IRCTC) case was raked up earlier also and on two occasions brought before the Supreme Court, which dismissed the matter. The petitioners were also in possession of information from highly confidential internal documents, which is a serious offence, it said.

The letter by Asthana to the CVC also alleged that Verma had called off raids against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav last year in the ongoing probe in the IRCTC tender issuance case.

“The allegation of preventing raids against the accused in the IRCTC case is absolutely false. The investigation of the case has resulted in filing a chargesheet before the designated court. This could not have been possible without the explicit approval of the director CBI," the agency said on Friday.

“Irrespective of the maintainability of the complaint, the CBI has provided most of the files as requested by the CVC and the remaining will be submitted soon," the country’s premier investigating agency said.

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