Central Bureau of Investigation officer Satish Dagar, who was investigating the corruption case against former agency director Rakesh Asthana, has applied for voluntary retirement, PTI reported. “Satish Dagar, SP, CBI has submitted application for voluntary retirement on personal grounds,” a CBI spokesperson said.

Dagar applied for voluntary retirement in a letter on August 19, The Indian Express reported. Under Rule 48 of the Central Civil Services pension Rules 1972, a CBI officer seeking voluntary retirement must serve a three-month notice period.

On May 31, the Delhi High Court had granted the CBI four months to finish its investigation in the Asthana case. Thus, the timing of Dagar’s application has raised eyebrows in the investigation agency. Dagar did not respond to queries by The Indian Express as to why he applied for voluntary retirement.

Former CBI Director M Nageswara Rao made Dagar the head of the team investigating the Asthana case, in October last year. In July this year, Rao was shunted out of the CBI and appointed the director general of fire services, civil defence and home guard.

Dagar had earlier investigated cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Singh is currently serving life imprisonment in a jail in Rohtak for raping two of his disciples as well as ordering his followers to murder a Sirsa-based journalist.

The Asthana case

In January, the Delhi High 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.

Asthana and Devendra Kumar, along with middleman Manoj Prasad, are under the CBI lens for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore in exchange for a clean chit to Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is accused in multiple graft cases.

Asthana has been accused of receiving kickbacks and extorting money from businessman Sana. Asthana, in turn, accused former CBI Director Alok Verma of trying to falsely implicate him, and levelled corruption charges against him. The Centre subsequently sent both Asthana and Verma on compulsory leave in October last year.

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