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Monday, December 06, 2021

Delhi HC restrains CBI from taking coercive action against businessman behind rift in agency

Sana in his plea has alleged that the agency has an “institutional bias” against him since he had complained against DSP Devender Kumar — the then investigating officer of the Qureshi corruption case

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 16, 2021 6:35:06 am
Delhi High Court, Hyderabad businessman, meat exporter, meat export, extortion case, corruption case, Delhi news, Delhi city news, New Delhi, Indian Express, India news, current affairsThe court issued notice to the government, the Directorate of Education and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on petition filed by the school teacher, and asked to file a response in four weeks. (File)

The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained the CBI from taking any coercive action against Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana in the corruption case against meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi and others.

Sana, whose allegations had triggered a major feud within the CBI in 2018, in his plea has alleged that the agency has an “institutional bias” against him since he had complained against DSP Devender Kumar — the then investigating officer of the Qureshi corruption case, and against an extortion demand which was made in the name of a then high-ranking CBI official. In 2019, Sana, initially a prosecution witness, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case connected to the CBI FIR. He was later granted bail by a trial court.

A Delhi court had last month allowed CBI’s application for taking Sana’s voice sample for comparison with Qureshi’s calls purportedly intercepted by the Income Tax department. Sana, who has also challenged the trial court order, in his petition said that he has been described as a “suspect in the application filed before the trial court but between October 2017 and September 2018 was treated as a witness”.

On Monday, Justice Mukta Gupta, while issuing a notice to the CBI in Sana’s petition seeking quashing of the agency’s case against him, said his voice sample could be collected and sent for investigation. “However, the same will be subject to the outcome of the petition as to whether the said voice sample has been recorded as a witness or as an accused,” the court said.

In his petition, Sana said, “The petitioner reasonably apprehends that since RC 13(A) was registered pursuant to the harassment being meted to him by Mr Devender Kumar, the (then) Investigating Officer in this FIR, and the extortion being suffered by him by invoking the name of a (then) high-ranking official in CBI, the agency labours an institutional bias against him. The Petitioner furthermore reasonably apprehends that now that CBI has reinitiated investigation in the FIR, it shall use every opportunity to be high-handed against him; to wreak vengeance and settle scores by falsely implicating him as an ‘accused’ in the FIR.”

RC 13 (A) refers to the FIR which was registered in October 2018 against IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, DSP Kumar, Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad on the basis of a complaint given by Sana. In February 2020, only Manoj Prasad was chargesheeted in the case, while Asthana and Kumar were given a clean chit.

CBI in February 2017 had registered a corruption case against Qureshi and others after it received a complaint from ED that during the course of its investigation under the Foreign Exchange Act, 1999 against the AMQ Group of Companies and Qureshi, it had been “revealed that Mr. Moin Akhtar Qureshi was indulging as a middleman for certain public servants and had taken huge sums of money from different persons to obtain undue favours from public servants/politicians holding high offices”.

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