NEW DELHI: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Interim Director M Nageswara Rao transferred 20 officers on Monday in a major reshuffle. Among those transferred include SP Vivek Priyadarshi and SK Nair, the investigation officers of the 2G Spectrum scam and Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) case involving fugitive economic offenders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi respectively.
Priyadarshi was transferred from Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) in Delhi to Chandigarh, while Nair was transferred to ACB Mumbai.
However, the transfer order specifically states that the investigating officers specially directed to supervise, investigate or enquire into any case or matter by any constitutional court, shall continue to do, reported news agency PTI.
Nair has been replaced by A Saravanan, a Superintendent of Police from Chennai, who was probing the anti-Sterlite protests firing case in Tamil Nadu in which 13 people were killed. He will continue to investigate anti-Sterlite protests case, said the order.
Prem Gautam, posted in Special Unit of the CBI which does internal snooping on officers as a vigilance measure, has been relieved from the position. He was replaced by Ram Gopal, who has been transferred from the Special Crime branch in Chandigarh. Gautam will continue to probe economic offences and will also handle the additional charge of the Deputy Director (Personnel).
Meanwhile, CBI DSP AK Bassi on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer to Port Blair saying it was vitiated by "malafides" and would prejudice the probe against former special director Rakesh Asthana.
Bassi, who was the investigating officer in the corruption case against Asthana, said he is being "victimised by the present interim CBI Director - M Nageswara Rao, who represents certain elements within the CBI, who did not want the Petitioner herein to conduct a free and fair investigation in the Asthana FIR".
Rao's appointment as interim director has been challenged by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court, which is likely to hear the matter on January 24.