The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the bail petition of Manoj Prasad, a suspected middleman arrested in connection with the bribery allegations levelled against the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, PTI reported. Asthana was sent on leave by the government on October 23 pending an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission.

Prasad, arrested on October 17, is currently in judicial custody after a CBI special court on November 3 turned down his bail plea. He approached the High Court on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Patiala House Court extended Prasad’s custody in the bribery case till November 27, ANI reported.

Justice Najmi Waziri quashed the bail plea after observing that the investigation is at a crucial stage and the allegations against Prasad are serious in nature. The CBI opposed the plea on the ground that Prasad is an influential person and may tamper with the probe if he is granted relief.

Prasad’s lawyer Siddharth Luthra told the court said that his client Prasad has been in custody for almost a month and the CBI has not interrogated him even once. He claimed that Prasad was not needed for custodial interrogation.

On October 31, the CBI 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.

He 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.