The CBI on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that investigation into the bribery and extortion case against the agency’s special director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Devender Kumar must go on, and sought dismissal of their plea for quashing of the FIR against them.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikramjit Banerjee submitted before Justice Najmi Waziri that there is no “mala fide” in the probe against Asthana and Kumar, as it is being conducted by a new investigating officer.
The ASG also informed the court that there is “no bar under the CBI manual on appointment of additional investigating officer” in a case. In case of a cognizable offence, the law says an FIR has to be lodged and credibility of the evidence tested by the investigating officer, he stated.
The CBI made its submission during a hearing on a plea by Asthana, Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad to quash the FIR against them in connection with bribery charges.
The court extended its October 23 order against Asthana ordering “status quo” in criminal proceedings against him and others in connection with the FIR against them.
Kumar and Prasad had been granted bail by the trial court.
Senior advocate Amit Sibal, representing CBI chief Alok Verma, under whom the FIR was filed, maintained that all mandatory procedures of law were followed while registering the case against Asthana on bribery allegations.
Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan and advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for Asthana, however, questioned the procedure under which the FIR was lodged and maintained that government sanction was required for lodging the FIR against the CBI’s number 2 officer. Appearing for Kumar, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan seconded this contention.
The bench reserved its order and said a verdict will be delivered soon. Verma has argued that registration of the FIR is in compliance with all existing laws and regulations.