A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Delhi on Saturday dismissed the bail application of Manoj Prasad, a suspected middleman arrested in connection with the bribery allegations levelled against the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, PTI reported.

Prasad, who was arrested on October 17, is in judicial custody at present. On October 31, the court granted bail to the agency’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is a co-accused in the case, after the agency did not oppose his bail application. Kumar is accused of forging the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, a key witness who had allegedly paid bribes in return for relief in the case.

On Thursday, the CBI told the Delhi High Court that the First Information Report filed in a bribery case against Asthana and others shows cognisable offences. Asthana, who was sent on leave on October 23 pending an inquiry, is accused of accepting a Rs 2-crore bribe to scuttle an investigation against businessman Moin Qureshi, who is an accused in multiple corruption cases.

The agency opposed Asthana’s plea that the FIR against him be quashed and told the court that the investigation against him was at a nascent stage. It said several incriminating documents and the role of many other persons were being looked into. The CBI also added that certain files and documents were inaccessible as they were being scrutinised by the Central Vigilance Commission.

The High Court extended till November 14 its order to the CBI to maintain status quo on the proceedings against Asthana.