Wednesday, February 12, 2020

CBI bribery case: Why bigger accused roaming free, says Delhi court after clean chit to Rakesh Asthana

The CBI gave a clean chit to Rakesh Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar in a bribery and extortion case on Tuesday. rakesh asthana, rakesh asthana bribery case, rakesh asthana cbi, cbi rakesh asthana clean chit, Devender Kumar cbi, indian express news
FIR against Rakesh Asthana (in pic), others was lodged on the direction of then CBI chief Alok Verma. (File)

A Delhi court Wednesday expressed displeasure over CBI’s investigation into a bribery and extortion case against its former Special Director Rakesh Asthana and others, asking why the accused with a bigger role in the case were roaming free while the agency arrested its own DSP.

“Why are certain accused who seem to have a bigger role in the case were roaming free while the CBI arrested its own DSP?” Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal asked. The court put the matter for further consideration on February 19.

Filing a chargesheet in the case, which was registered on directions of former CBI director Alok Verma, who was then locked in a turf war with Asthana, the CBI had dropped both Asthana and DSP Devender Kumar as accused. Kumar is on bail in the matter.

The agency, however, arraigned alleged middleman Manoj Prasad as an accused in the case and said that the probe against his brother — Somesh Prasad – and one Sunil Mittal is yet to be concluded.

On October 4, 2019, The Indian Express had first reported that Asthana is likely to be absolved of all charges of corruption in the case. The investigating officer in the case had prepared a report exonerating Asthana, and it had been submitted to superiors, The Indian Express had reported.

The case dates back to October 15, 2018 when the CBI had registered an FIR on the directions of Verma, who was then agency’s director, alleging a suspect in the Moin Qureshi case had been forced to pay Rs 2.95 crore to Asthana through the Prasad brothers to water down the case against him. The suspect, Sathish Sana Babu, was made a witness in the case by the CBI.-ie

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