AMID THE turmoil within the CBI, with two of its top officers sent on leave after levelling serious allegations against each other and the Supreme Court monitoring the matter, the agency has changed the Investigating Officer (IO) probing the case involving controversial businessman Moin Qureshi, The Indian Express has learnt.
Satish Dagar, SP in CBI’s Anti-Corruption III unit (AC-III), has been entrusted with the Qureshi case, replacing S Kiran who holds the same rank in AC-II. Sources told The Indian Express that documents of the case were transferred to the new IO Sunday.
Dagar was among the several officers brought in during the midnight move by the Centre last Tuesday, when it sent CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana on leave.
Dagar had replaced A K Bassi who was posted to Port Blair “with immediate effect”. After the move, Dagar was assigned to the bribery case against Asthana but will now also handle the Qureshi case, which led to the FIR against the Special Director.
On Friday, Dagar issued summons to Sathish Sana, the Hyderabad-based businessman whose statement before a Magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC led to the FIR against Asthana.
The CBI spokesperson did not respond to calls and messages from The Indian Express seeking comment.
On October 25, The Indian Express reported that Dagar, who was shifted from the Economic Offences III unit, had earlier probed the Gurmeet Ram Rahim case, which ended in conviction.
The Qureshi case is at the heart of the current turmoil in the CBI, with the case files being asked for by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in its correspondence with Verma. It was this issue that led to the CVC order last week against Verma, who went on to file a petition in Supreme Court.
The move to replace Kiran with Dagar in the Qureshi case comes after the Supreme Court, hearing Verma’s plea Friday, restrained interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao from taking any “policy decision(s) or any major decision(s)” and directed that he “will only perform the routine tasks that are essential to keep the CBI functional”.
Kiran, who was replaced by Dagar, had earlier investigated the case of jailed Sahara employee and journalist, Upendra Rai. He was also on the SIT against former CBI chief, Ranjit Sinha.
As first reported by The Indian Express, the Qureshi case began more than four years ago after the meat exporter was raided by the Income Tax Department on February 15, 2014, following which several incriminating BBM messages were unearthed between the businessman and those he allegedly took money from to “fix” CBI cases.
It took three years after the tax raid for the CBI to register a case against Qureshi — the case is technically still “under investigation”.