Former Central Bureau of Investigation Special Director Rakesh Asthana was appointed on Monday as the director-general of the Border Security Force, PTI reported. Asthana, a cadre of the Indian Police Services of Gujarat, also holds the additional charge of director general, Narcotics Control Bureau.

At present, Asthana is working as the Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. He has been appointed the director general of the Border Security Force from the date of joining the post and up to July 31, next year, that is the date of his superannuation, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry stated.

The former CBI director has been involved in the investigation of many landmark cases such as the Sabarmati Express fire in Godhra in 2002. He also arrested Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection with the fodder scam in 1997, while holding the post of superintendent of police in the CBI.

His name was drawn into a major controversy last year after he and Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, along with middleman Manoj Prasad, were under the CBI’s radar for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore in exchange for clearing charges against Hyderabad-based entrepreneur Sathish Babu Sana. The businessman 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 the businessman. 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.

However, Asthana and Kumar were cleared of all charges in February.

Other appointments

The Centre also appointed VSK Kaumudi the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union home ministry. Kaumudi, an IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cade from the 1986 batch, is presently working as DG, Bureau of Police research and Development.

His batchmate from Uttar Pradesh cadre, Md Jawed Akhtar, has been appointed the Director-General, Fire Services, Civil Defence & Home Guard. Akhtar will hold the charge of the post for a period upto July 31, 2021 i.e. date of his superannuation, the ministry said. He is currently the Special DG, Central Reserve Police Force