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CBI Additional SP Moves Delhi HC, Says ‘Reasonable’ Fear That CBI Is Protecting Asthana In Bribery Case

Earlier, CBI officer AK Bassi had told the Supreme Court that he had 'incriminating evidence' against Asthana

New Delhi: There is “incriminating evidence” that establishes a “clear, cogent and an unmistakable link” among a Hyderabad-based businessman who is a complainant in a case against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, two Dubai-based middlemen and a top R&AW official, says an application submitted by an agency officer in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

S S Gurm, who is posted as additional superintendent of police in the agency, approached the high court with a plea for impleadment in a writ petition filed by Asthana seeking quashing of an FIR against him and others filed on October 16.

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However, after this, the war between Asthana and CBI chief Alok Verma came out in the open prompting the government to send both officers on leave.

Asthana had approached the high court for quashing of the FIR along with Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who was arrested and subsequently given bail on Wednesday.

However, Gurm moved the high court against Asthana and claimed that he had been misleading the court by placing “selective” facts before it.

In his application, the additional SP said he has “reasonable” apprehension that the CBI is seeking to protect and support Asthana and may not effectively contest the petition.

CBI Additional SP

Gurm, who has been transferred after both Verma and Asthana were sent on leave, informed the court that he was part of the investigation team that was probing the case against Asthana. The case was registered on a complaint of Sathish Babu Sana, the Hyderabad-based businessman who was being probed for his links with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

The officer, who was transferred from Delhi to Jabalpur, has sought an opportunity to be heard in the case.

“… It is respectfully submitted that there are several cogent evidences collected during the course of investigation which would prima-facie establish the guilt of the petitioner (Asthana) herein, disentitling him to any relief from this Court,” he said in his petition and urged that the court should take notice of statement made by Sana in front of a magistrate of Saket court.

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“A perusal of these two statements made under Section 164 Cr.P.C under oath by Sathish Babu Sana would unequivocally and unambiguously demonstrate that the version pleaded by Rakesh Asthana is factually incorrect and that the prosecution story is factually correct,” the CBI officer said.

Gurm also mentioned in his affidavit that investigation had shown that “Kumar, DySP CBI sought to implicate the Director CBI and C.M. Ramesh, Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha, in order to shield Rakesh Asthana”.

“There were incriminating evidences that establishes a clear, cogent and an unmistakable link between Sathish Babu Sana to the Prasad Brothers to Shri Samant Goel (Special Director RAW), and culminating at Rakesh Asthana,” it said.

Gurm said that according to Sana’s complaint, he was repeatedly summoned by the CBI in relation to the Moin Qureshi case and came across middle men Somesh Prasad and Manoj Prasad during his visit to Dubai, who claimed that they have very good connections in the CBI and they would “help” him for an amount of Rs 5 crore payable to a “CBI Officer” through them.

“Sana stated that the Prasad brothers disclosed the identity of the aforementioned CBI Officer as Asthana,” he said.

On Monday, A K Bassi had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that when they arrested Manoj Prasad, the accused called Goel who in turn had called Asthana to stop the arrest.

Another fact came to light in Gurm’s petition as he informed the High Court that an opinion of Additional Solicitor General of India P S Narasimha had been taken before registering a case against Asthana.

“….the Ld. ASG has opined that there is no requirement of obtaining sanction of the competent authority under Section 17A if an enquiry / inquiry or investigation has already commenced on the date of coming into force of Section 17A of the P.C. Act. Further, the Ld. ASG has advised that whenever a cognizable offence comes to the notice of law enforcement agency, the FIR / PE must be registered and it should not await the previous approval under Section 17A.

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