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Can Moin Qureshi case have new probe officer if earlier IO not removed: Delhi HC

CBI chief Alok Verma’s counsels, senior advocate Amit Sibal and advocate Rahul Sharma, told the court that a new IO can be appointed and there was no procedural lapses.

Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi |
December 15, 2018 6:00:40 am
Can Moin Qureshi case have new probe officer if earlier  IO not removed: Delhi HC Meat exporter Moin Qureshi. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The CBI on Friday faced searching questions from the Delhi High Court for appointing a new investigating officer (IO) in the case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi when the officer entrusted with the probe was not removed.

Justice Najmi Waziri asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikramjit Banerjee, who appeared for CBI, whether change of IO was permissible under law.

“I want to know whether the investigating agency has the power…” the judge said. He said the allegation against two senior CBI officers is involved in these proceedings.

“Does the head of the institution has no power? It’s a peculiar situation, why the IO was changed,” Justice Waziri asked Banerjee, who replied that he needs to take instruction on the subject.

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CBI chief Alok Verma’s counsels, senior advocate Amit Sibal and advocate Rahul Sharma, told the court that a new IO can be appointed and there was no procedural lapses.

The issue of the IO’s appointment was raised by senior advocate Amrendra Sharan and advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, who appeared for CBI special director Rakesh Asthana and questioned the procedure under which the FIR was lodged against their client. They argued that Verma realised that his alleged illegal activities have been found out, and that he would have to face grave consequences. So, the counsels contended, he first recorded the statement of businessman Satish Babu Sana against Asthana and others through a different IO and later it was turned into an FIR.
The counsel said that CBI Deputy SP Devender Kumar was the IO in Qureshi’s case until October 19, and Sana’s statement was recorded and the FIR lodged on October 15.

The court extended its October 23 “status quo” order against Asthana until  December 20.

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