The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to maintain status quo in its proceedings against its senior official Rakesh Asthana till November 1 and gave him interim relief from arrest, PTI reported.

The court is hearing petitions filed by Asthana and Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar seeking to quash the probe agency’s First Information Report against them in a bribery case.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government last week sent the CBI’s top two officials – Director Alok Verma and Special Asthana – on leave over allegations of corruption and bribery. On October 23, the High Court said no coercive action can be taken against Asthana till October 29.

A bench of Justice Najmi Waziri directed the CBI to file by November 1 its response to the two petitions after the probe agency sought more time and informed the court that the case files have been sent to the Central Vigilance Commission.

Devender Kumar moves bail plea

Meanwhile, Devender Kumar moved a bail application before a Delhi court on Monday, PTI reported. On October 23, the court had placed him in the agency’s custody for seven days. Kumar was arrested on October 22. He has been accused of forging the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, a key witness. Sana had allegedly paid bribes to get relief in the case. Asthana is accused of accepting a Rs 2-crore bribe from him to scuttle an investigation into businessman Moin Qureshi, who is an accused in multiple corruption cases.