The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday announced that it had cleared former special director Rakesh Asthana and deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar of bribery charges, The Hindu reported.
Asthana and Devendra Kumar, along with middleman Manoj Prasad, were 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 was 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 2018.
The CBI filed a chargesheet in the case on Tuesday, where it dropped the names of Asthana and Kumar. But named Manoj Prasad as an accused and said that the investigation against his brother Somesh Prasad and a person called Sunil Mittal was still under way. Research and Analysis Wing chief Samant Goel, whose name had come up in connection with the Prasad brothers, has also been dropped.
“Investigations have not revealed any role of public servants in the case,” a senior CBI officer told The Indian Express. “As far as some private persons are concerned, one has been chargesheeted, while investigations against others is to continue. The agency is awaiting answers to letters rogatory sent to some foreign countries for evidence against them.”
The chargesheet was filed before Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Kumar a day before the matter came up before the Delhi High Court. The High Court had in January had pulled up the CBI in January and set a four-week deadline for the chargesheet. The High Court had given two extensions last year – in May and October – but told the investigators that it would not give any more time.