CBI feud: Delhi HC directs chief Alok Verma to respond to Asthana’s allegations

CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana had moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim protection from arrest and quashing of an FIR in connection with bribery allegations against him

NH Web Desk

The Delhi High Court has directed CBI director Alok Verma has to respond to the allegations levelled by Rakesh Asthana. The matter has been posted for Monday, October 29. The court also said that till then no action can be taken against him.

Delhi High Court also said that all electronic records of the accused to be preserved including mobile phones, laptops etc.

Central Bureau of Investigation Special Director Rakesh Asthana on Tuesday, October 23, moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim protection from arrest and quashing of an FIR in connection with bribery allegations against him.

In another recent development, CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Kumar has been sent to seven days CBI custody.

Earlier in the morning, the arrested CBI (DSP) Devender Kumar had moved the High Court challenging his arrest.

In his petition, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar said he was being made “a scapegoat” and the case filed against them was false, frivolous and an afterthought.

Kumar insisted that he was an “upright police officer” with an excellent service record. The officer said he had been investigating the case against meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi and others and was implicated because he had unearthed the truth in this case and was going to arrest “several accused persons”.

Asthana and Kumar's plea seeking the court's direction to quash the First Information Report (FIR) will be heard by the High Court post lunch. Kumar, in his plea, has requested the court to call documents related to the case.

The matter was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan. The court listed the plea for hearing before an appropriate bench in the post lunch session on Tuesday, October 23.

The case against Asthana has been registered on a complaint by a Hyderabad-based businessman, Sana Satish Babu, who alleged that two Dubai-based brothers – Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad – claimed that they were acting on behalf of the CBI special director and allegedly struck a deal for Rs 5 crore to protect him in a case that the agency registered against controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi. Former CBI director AP Singh is also an accused in the case.

According to the CBI, Kumar fabricated the statement of Sathish, a witness in the Qureshi case, showing he recorded the statement on September 26 in Delhi. However, investigation has revealed that Sana was not in Delhi on that day. He was in Hyderabad and joined the investigation only on October 1.

Kumar's arrest comes a day after the CBI registered an FIR against Asthana, Kumar and two others. The CBI has alleged that bribes were taken at least five times in December 2017 and October 2018.

Asthana, a 1984 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a businessman who was being investigated in the Qureshi case in order to "wreck" the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Asthana.

*The story was updated at 4:40PM to include the latest development.

*Developing Story

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Published: 23 Oct 2018, 9:30 AM