Sunday, April 11, 2021

CBI arrests its official in case against special director Rakesh Asthana

New Delhi, October 22: Devender Kumar, the CBI deputy superintendent of police named in the corruption case registered against the agency’s special director Rakesh Asthana has been arrested, the CBI said on Monday. His office and residence were also searched after the registration of the FIR, according to officials familiar with the development.
The CBI said Kumar was arrested on charges of falsification of records in an ongoing investigation and said “the role of other officers of SIT (special investigation team) CBI, then supervising the Moin Qureshi case” was also being probed.
The agency had last week filed a corruption case against its special director Rakesh Asthana on a complaint from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu who claimed that two brothers, Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, demanded Rs 5 crore from him for Asthana’s intervention in a case. The complainant also claimed to have paid money to the Prasad brothers.
On Monday, the Congress also attacked the government for the agency’s two top officers, Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana openly feuding with each other. Congress president Rahul Gandhi led the charge. “An institution in terminal decline that’s at war with itself,” Gandhi tweeted.
Asthana has accused Verma of interfering in investigations carried out under his supervision and made a formal complaint to the cabinet secretary. The cabinet secretary has asked the Central Vigilance Commission to look into his representation.
The CBI statement linked the fabrication of evidence charge against Devender Kumar to the allegations and counter-allegations that the CBI’s two top officers have been hurling at each other.
“It (CBI) found that Devender Kumar had fabricated this statement as an afterthought plan to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Special Director Rakesh Asthana against director Alok Kumar Verma to CVC,” the statement said.
Devender Kumar was earlier the investigating officer in the sensitive Moin Qureshi case being probed by the agency.
In February, 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR against Qureshi on charges of having a nexus with the agency’s former chief AP Singh for settling CBI cases. He was accused by the agency of criminal conspiracy and taking bribes to influence a public servant. (Agencies)