The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to quash the First Information Report filed against Central Bureau of Investigation Special Director Rakesh Asthana on bribery allegations, Bar & Bench reported.
Asthana, CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar and an alleged middleman Manoj Prasad had moved the court seeking to quash the FIR. While dismissing their pleas, the court directed the CBI to conclude the investigation against Asthana and Kumar in 10 weeks.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in October had sent Asthana and CBI Director Alok Verma on leave after they accused each other of corruption. After being reinstated by a Supreme Court order on Tuesday, Verma was removed from the post again on Thursday.
Asthana was accused of receiving kickbacks and extorting money from Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is accused in multiple graft cases. Asthana, in turn, accused Verma of trying to falsely implicate him, and levelled corruption charges against him.
Asthana in November told the court that the FIR filed against him was in retaliation for his complaints of criminal misconduct against Verma. The agency had opposed Asthana’s plea, saying that the inquiry against him was at a nascent stage.
The FIR states that Kumar had asked Sana to pay Rs 5 crore as bribe. The agency arrested Kumar on October 22 but he was granted bail a week later.