The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it needs more time to complete the inquiry into a bribery case involving its former Special Director Rakesh Asthana. In January, the High Court had granted the CBI an extension of 10 weeks to carry out the investigation, PTI reported.

In January, the court had rejected a plea by Asthana, Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar and an alleged middleman Manoj Prasad to quash the first information report the CBI had filed in the case.

However, on Wednesday, the court questioned the CBI about not giving an advance copy of its plea seeking an extension, to Dayan Krishnan, the counsel for Asthana and Kumar. Justice Mukta Gupta said the agency should hand over a copy of the plea to the counsel, and fixed the matter for hearing on Thursday.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the CBI, had said there was no need to give the defence a copy of the plea as it had been filed in a matter already disposed of. He said the CBI has filed a status report on the investigation in a sealed cover.

“You want an order and you don’t even serve a copy to the other side,” Gupta told the counsel in response. “It is preposterous the way CBI tends to act. If you are not serving them the application copy then your plea is not maintainable.” Banerjee then agreed to serve a copy of the application to the defence.

Asthana has been 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 former CBI Director Alok Verma of trying to falsely implicate him, and levelled corruption charges against him.