— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) January 12, 2019
The Times of India in its coverage of CBI director Alok Verma’s sacking by the government on Jan. 10, 2019, covered the cases handled by Verma in detail, but in the process committed several mistakes, thus, misleading readers that the sacked CBI director was behind the LoC issue mistake by CBI that helped businessman Vijay Mallya flee the country.
- The TOI report reads: “The other major allegation is of diluting the LoC against Sivasankaran, an accused in the Rs 600 crore IDBI Bank loan fraud, allowing him to leave India. TOI had first reported the case on October 21. Not only did the CBI dilute LoC provisions for Sivasankaran in September but the case was transferred from Bank Securities and Fraud Cell (BS&FC), Bengaluru, to the anti-corruption-3 unit in Delhi to facilitate this change.
Another serious allegation against Verma relates to dilution of Mallya’s LoC, issued in October 2015. Mallya had been booked in the Rs 900 crore IDBI Bank fraud, in which a UK court recently ordered his extradition. Within a month of issuance of the LoC, CBI joint director A K Sharma, seen to be close to Verma, wrote to immigration authorities seeking dilution to “inform only” instead of “detain”. This helped Mallya flee the country.”
But, the facts do not match.
Mr Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer, had joined as DG of Tihar Jail on August 6, 2014 and continued till February 29, 2017, when he became Delhi Police Commissioner. It was Alok Sinha, who was the director of CBI in October 2015 when businessman Vijay Mallya fled the country. How come Mallya’s case of fleeing the country was linked to Tihar Jail Commissioner Alok Verma?
Was the allegation made because CBI Joint Director AK Sharma was close to Alok Verma and hence he could be the reason behind facilitating Mallya’s exit? A faraway possibility as Alok Verma was nowhere in the picture, not even in CBI when the incident took place.