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CBI vs CBI: Probe into Sathish Babu Sana not stalled, but delayed, CBI tells Delhi High Court

The CBI’s response came on a writ petition filed by Asthana, seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him, Deputy SP Devender Kumar and two others, accused to be middlemen.

Written by Abhishek Angad | New Delhi |
November 2, 2018 4:02:42 am
cbi, rakesh asthana, rakesh asthana bribery case, Sathish Babu Sana, cbi vs cbi, alok verma, cbi row, Moin Qureshi corruption case, cbi bribery row, cbi director, moin qureshi, indian express Rakesh Asthana. (Source: Rakesh Asthana / Facebook)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that investigation of Hyderabad businessman Satish Babu Sana in the Moin Qureshi corruption case has not been “stalled/stayed” and that there is delay due to “unwarranted developments”. Sana has levelled allegations of extortion and bribery against several CBI officers, including Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

The CBI’s response came on a writ petition filed by Asthana, seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him, Deputy SP Devender Kumar and two others, accused to be middlemen.

In his petition filed last month by his counsel Amit Anand Tiwari, Asthana mentioned grounds for quashing of the FIR and said that the “investigation of the accused person has been stalled and the said accused person has now been treated as an accomplice to a crime, along with the investigating authority.”

READ | Can’t find complainant Sana in Asthana case, CBI officer tells court

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Responding to this, the CBI said: “…it is submitted that the investigation against the accused persons has not been stayed/stalled by any authority. There may be a slight delay due to the unwarranted developments.”

During the proceedings, the High Court on Thursday extended till November 14 its order directing the CBI to maintain status quo.

The CBI also said it was “handicapped” in its probe against Asthana and the others as the case files have been sent to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for scrutiny following the Supreme Court’s order directing CVC to complete an inquiry against CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma by November 12.

READ | In possession of ‘incriminating’ documents against Rakesh Asthana, CBI tells Delhi HC

Asthana has, in his plea, mentioned another ground to seek quashing of the FIR. He has stated that on August 24, he had given a formal complaint to the Cabinet secretary against Verma for “accepting bribes of Rs 2 crore” to favour Sana in an ongoing investigation. “It is also to point out that said complaint is still pending before the CVC and the present action is a mere backlash against the said complaint,” the plea said. Responding, CBI said: “No comments can be made on the averments made for want of knowledge”.

During court proceedings, a verbal spat broke out between an Additional Solicitor General and a Special Public Prosecutor, both claiming to be representing CBI.

ASG Vikramjit Banerjee, who came for the first time since the matter came up for hearing in the high court, said he has been instructed to appear for the CBI. Advocate K Raghavacharyulu, who has been appearing for the CBI, opposed the appearance of Banerjee and contended that he has been appointed by the agency to represent it from the beginning when the petition was filed by Asthana and others.

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