Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said forcing CBI director Alok Verma to go on indefinite leave was "illegal" and alleged that it was done as the government panicked over the possibility of him investigating the Rafale jet deal.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, he claimed that Verma's removal was an "insult" to the Constitution, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition.
The move was "illegal", the Congress chief said.
The interim charge of the agency has been given a person who has cases against him so that the Prime Minister can control him, Gandhi alleged, referring to joint director Nageswara Rao.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana were asked to go on leave as per the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission and it was "absolutely essential" to maintain the institutional integrity of CBI.
In a late-night order, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was asked to take charge as interim chief.