CBI turf war: The plea also seeks to ensure that no coercive steps are taken against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, according to reports.
CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the second in command in the premier investigating agency of the country, on Tuesday moved a petition in Delhi High Court seeking the quashing of a CBI’s FIR against him, in a fresh twist to the ongoing tussle between him and CBI Director Alok Verma. The plea also seeks to ensure that no coercive steps are taken against him, according to reports.
This comes in the background of CBI registering the FIR against Asthana on October 15 alleging criminal misconduct on his part and that Sana had allegedly paid a bribe of around Rs 5 crore through a middleman to the Special Director to get relief. Asthana was heading the special investigation team and in-charge of several sensitive cases such as loan fraud by business tycoon Vijay Mallya and AgustaWestland chopper scam.
The reported conflict between Verma and Asthana began when Asthana questioned the attempts of Verma to induct certain officers in the CBI last year. The escalated when Verma hit back by objecting to the promotion of Asthana as Special Director. However, Verma’s argument was not accepted by the transparency watchdog. An application against his appointment was also rejected by the Supreme Court. The top court’s way for Asthana’s appointment as Special Director and number two in the agency.
Asthana then filed an exhaustive complaint to the CVC against the CBI Director on August 24, 2018, giving over 11 instances of alleged corruption and irregularities against him, which included receiving Rs 2 crore bribe from Sana. On the other hand, Verma wrote to the CVC that Asthana cannot represent him in selection committee meetings when he is away.