The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed the pleas of CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and others seeking quashing of FIR against them on bribery allegations and extortion. The court said the allegation of mala fide raised against the then CBI Director Alok Verma is not made out.
Justice Najmi Waziri also vacated its October 23, 2018 interim order directing the agency to maintain “status quo” on proceedings against Asthana, who had sought directions for no coercive steps in connection with a case of alleged bribery.
The court further said the investigation into the FIR against four, including Asthana, be completed within 10 weeks time.
It ruled that the sanction to prosecute Asthana and Devender Kumar was not required in the matter, keeping the facts of this case in view.
The court had reserved the judgment on December 20, 2018, on various petitions after hearing submissions of counsel for the CBI, Asthana, agency director Alok Verma, Deputy Superintendent Devender Kumar, and Joint Director A K Sharma.
Verma was removed from the CBI director’s post over charges of corruption and dereliction of duty Thursday evening. He is the first CBI chief to be ousted from the post. Verma, who was trasnferred from the post of Director, CBI and posted as Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guards for the residual period of his present term ending on January 31, 2019, has declined to take up the post.
Asthana, Kumar and an alleged middleman Manoj Prasad had moved court seeking the quashing of the FIR against them.
The FIR was filed after Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana claimed he had paid bribes to get relief in a case related to meat-exporter Moin Qureshi and made allegations of corruption and extortion against Asthana.
Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving Qureshi, was arrested in the case on October 22, 2018 and was granted bail a week later. Prasad was arrested on October 17, 2018, and he was granted bail on December 18, 2018.
Besides seeking to summon records of the FIR and related documents, Asthana and others have sought quashing of the FIR lodged against them on October 15, 2018, under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.