The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana and DSP Devendra Kumar's plea seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) against them in a bribery case. The FIR was registered against Asthana and others after a preliminary inquiry by the then CBI officials.
Here are the key developments in the Rakesh Asthana case
No relief for Asthana
The Delhi High Court today dismissed Rakesh Asthana and DSP Devendra Kumar's plea seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) against them in a bribery case.
The investigating agency filed an FIR against Asthana for allegedly accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was related to controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi case. Asthana was heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was probing the Qureshi case. The case against Kumar and Asthana, among others, was registered based on a complaint received by Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana on October 15.
Rakesh Asthana case
CBI booked Asthana on the allegations of receiving a bribe from an accused probed by him in a case linked to meat exporter Moin Qureshi - a charge levelled by the officer on CBI Director Alok Verma in his complaint to the Cabinet Secretary.
The appointment of the Gujarat cadre officer had not gone down well with many. His appointment was even challenged in the court by senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
He was a part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that looked into the 2002 Godhra train burning case. He also investigated the fodder scam between 1994 to 2001 in which former Bihar chief minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted.
Alok Verma breaks silence
Alok Verma claimed that he was transferred on the basis of "false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations" made by only one person who was inimical to him. The 1979-batch IPS officer has been posted as the Director-General Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, under the Union Home Ministry
CBI must be independent, says Alok Verma
Verma said "the CBI being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected."
"It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside," he said.
The high-level selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed Alok Verma 48 hours after he was reinstated as director of the CBI by the Supreme Court.
According to sources, the panel took into account serious allegations flagged by the CVC in its report, which was presented before the panel comprising Justice A K Sikri, besides Modi and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. Sikri was appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as his representative.
Modi and Justice Sikri found his continuance untenable and hence he was transferred. However, Kharge opposed the move.
WHAT THE CVC REPORT SAYS
— Evidence of Alok Verma influencing investigation in Moin Qureshi case, taking a bribe of Rs2 crore
— In the IRCTC case, he deliberately excluded a name from the FIR
— Instances of wilful non-production of record and fabrication of record
— Attempts made to induct officers of doubtful integrity in CBI
— He was not functioning with the integrity expected of him