MeraNews Network, New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special director Rakesh Asthana and the current director Alok Verma have been sent on a leave by the government. Verma has appealed to the court against this move, and its hearing will take place on October 26. Meanwhile, Nageshwar Rao has been made the in-charge chief of the premier investigation agency of the country.  Rao, a native of Warangal in Telangana belongs to the 1986 batch of the Orissa cadre and was the joint director at CBI before being handed over this responsibility.

The CBI was split into two factions after the agency filed charges of corruption and bribery against its own special director Asthana. The FIR filed on the basis of a statement by Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish said that Asthana had accepted bribes worth Rs 3 crores from the businessman, whose role was under the scanner in a case involving meat-trader Moin Qureshi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to intervene in this mess after Verma went to meet him on Monday and apprise him of the situation.

Within an hour of this meeting, DCP Devendra Kumar, one of the accused named in the FIR was arrested, and later raids were conducted at the residences of the officers named in the FIR. Kumar and Asthana have challenged the FIR in the courts and a hearing on the same is slated to occur on October 29 at the Delhi High Court. Asthana has been given relief from being arrested until the date of the hearing but has been sent on a leave along with Verma.