CBI vs CBI AK Bassi approaches SC over transfer order claims he has evidence against Asthana

India

NEW DELHI: Central Bureau of Investigation Deputy SP AK Bassi approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday over his transfer order issued last week. His urgent hearing plea for Friday was however denied by the top court.

In the plea, Bassi has claimed that he has incriminating evidence against CBI second-in-command Rakesh Asthana in the alleged bribery case and asked the Supreme Court to call for evidence of technical surveillance. He also sought setting up a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to investigate charges against Asthana.

Bassi was one of the top investigating officers probing the case against Asthana for alleged bribery charges.

On Wednesday, he was transferred to Port Blair as Deputy SP, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) by CBI ‘in public interest’. Several other top officers were also transferred.

Asthana had alleged in his complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that Bassi was carrying out “roving inquiries” against him on the directions of Alok Verma, the CBI director. Both Verma and Asthana have been sent on leave by the government along with him.

In an unprecedented chain of events, the Centre sent the sparring CBI chief Alok Verma and Special Director Asthana on leave on October 23 after their spat went public. Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao was appointed as the interim chief.

Challenging the government notification divesting him of his duties and powers and giving charge to Rao, Verma approached the SC.

The top court on October 26 directed the CVC to complete its probe into bribery allegations against Verma under the supervision of a retired apex court judge Justice AK Patnaik in two weeks while restraining interim chief M Nageshwar Rao from taking any policy or major decisions during the period.

The court also issued notices to the CBI, CVC and the government to be replied by November 12 when the next hearing is scheduled to take place.

CBI had lodged an FIR against Asthana and another officer Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations. The case involves meat exporter Moin Qureshi on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, who had alleged to have paid bribe to get relief in the case.

The Delhi High Court has directed the CBI to maintain status quo on the criminal proceedings initiated against its Asthana.

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