The Central Bureau of Investigation Monday made its first arrest in connection with the bribery case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number two in the organisation. Deputy SP Devender Kumar, the CBI’s Investigating Officer under Asthana, was formally arrested by the CBI, a week after he was named as an accused in the case along with Asthana and Dubai-based middleman Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prasad. Although the complaint also mentions Special Secretary of R&AW Samant Kumar Goel, he is not an accused in the case.
Asthana has been accused of accepting Rs 3 crore as bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish for allegedly clearing his name in a case investigated by CBI’s special investigation team. The SIT, headed by Asthana, was investigating a corruption case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is accused of paying bribes to influence CBI cases.
Last week, the CBI named Asthana as Accused Number 1 for allegedly demanding and taking bribe from Sana. The businessman claimed he paid Rs 3 crore over a period of 10 months from December 2017 to stay away from the CBI investigation into the Qureshi corruption case.
Asthana had also complained to the Cabinet Secretary against CBI Director Alok Verma that the latter allegedly impeded his functioning, interfered in investigations and maligned his reputation. He also claimed that Sana paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to Verma to avoid action by the CBI.