The crisis within the CBI showed no signs of abating as DSP Ajay Kumar Bassi Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer order to Port Blair issued by the interim CBI chief Nageswara Rao on January 11.
The DSP, in his petition, said his transfer would prejudice the probe in the alleged corruption case against ousted CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
“It is passed by an officer/authority not competent to pass such orders. The impugned order intends to victimize the Petitioner herein. The impugned order seeks to unfairly prejudice the investigation against Rakesh Asthana, in FIR RC 13(A)/ 2018/AC-III dated October 15, 2018,” said Bassi, who was the investigating officer in the Asthana case.
Bassi said he is being “victimised by the present interim CBI Director – M Nageswara Rao, who represents certain elements within the CBI, who did not want the Petitioner herein to conduct a free and fair investigation in the Asthana FIR”.
He added that there are apprehensions that the transfer order is the first step to implicate him either in false criminal cases or in departmental proceedings for discharging his duties in the investigation of the FIR pertaining to Asthana.
The DSP said that his wasn’t the routine case of a transfer of an officer. Bassi, in his application in the Verma case, had submitted that his transfer is pursuant to a deep-rooted conspiracy aimed at influencing the course of the investigation against Asthana.
The Supreme Court had on January 8, asked CBI officers including Bassi, who were transferred overnight to various places after the Centre’s decision to divest Director Alok Verma of his powers, to approach appropriate forum assailing their transfers.
Bassi said that he does not claim or contend to seek any vested right to be a part of any investigation team relating to the FIR related to Asthana or any other case being investigated by the CBI. He added that he was never a part of any “group or faction” within the CBI and has no concern with the alleged disputes which have erupted within the CBI.
After Alok Verma was reinstated as CBI chief on January 9 by the Supreme Court, he revoked the transfer order of officials probing the alleged corruption case against Rakesh Asthana. Asthana has been accused of taking bribes in the Moin Qureshi case.
However, Nageswara Rao reversed all the transfer orders issued by Alok Verma after a high-powered committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ousted the CBI chief based on corruption charges in a CVC report.
Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana were divested of their powers and sent on leave in October after they accused each other of corruption.
(With PTI inputs)