A Delhi court has granted bail to two persons accused of extorting money from Hyderabad businessman Sana Sathish Babu on the pretext of shielding him in the CBI investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
The CBI had registered an FIR against former CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana on the basis of a complaint from Sana, facing investigation in a 2017 case involving meat exporter Qureshi.
Sana’s allegations of bribery against Asthana triggered a tussle within the CBI, particularly between then director Alok Verma and his number two, Asthana. The CBI, in its chargesheet, gave a clean chit to Asthana, and the other three accused — Somesh Prasad, Manoj Prasad and Sunil Mittal — are facing trial.
The court was hearing bail applications of Somesh and Mittal. In the September 22 order granting bail to the two, Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal said, “The stand of the CBI/Investigating agency is most ambivalent with regard to the matter in hand, on the one hand, they did not arrest the accused persons at any point of time when they appeared before them during the investigations and on the other hand they are opposing their bail applications to tooth and nail. The said stand can be described by way of English idiom ‘Run with Hare and Hunt with the Hounds’ i.e to be good on terms with both the sides,” the order read.
“No doubt, as per the averments made in the chargesheet, there are serious allegations that the accused persons… However, a lot of time has passed since the initial registration of the FIR. Further there are no allegations till date of intimidating the witnesses, substantial investigations have already been done, therefore, there are no chances of tampering with the evidence,” the order stated.
Opposing the bail pleas, the CBI had alleged that Somesh had not handed over his mobile phones and did not cooperate in opening his email by supplying the password and this had somewhat hampered investigation.
The court granted bail to Prasad and Mittal on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each with sureties of the like amount each. The two have been directed to submit their passports to the court.
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