However, the worst casualty in the feud between the top two officials in the CBI was Dy S P Devender Kumar, who was arrested by the agency on October 22 in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana.
The feud between CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana witnessed high-voltage legal battle which resonated throughout courts — the trial court, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court — over the last two-and-half months. Not only did Verma and Asthana approach the apex court and the high court respectively, but some of the sleuths of the two factions also had to seek redressal in courts in the wake of legal and departmental action taken against them.
However, the worst casualty in the feud between the top two officials in the CBI was Dy S P Devender Kumar, who was arrested by the agency on October 22 in connection with bribery allegations involving Asthana. He succeeded in getting bail on October 31, after CBI did not oppose his bail plea. Kumar was in the team of Asthana which was probing a case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi and Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, a witness in the case who had alleged that the Dy SP was asking for bribe from him and had threatened to implicate him as an accused if the demand was not met. Besides Kumar, another person arrested in the case was a middleman Manoj Prasad, who had to spent two months in jail before he got bail on December 18 after the agency failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 60 days against him.
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Their co-accused in the FIR, Asthana, had to knock the doors of the Delhi High Court for quashing of the case against him and the verdict is reserved. Kumar and Prasad also approached the HC, seeking quashing of the FIR against them and the verdict is reserved on their pleas as well. While Verma went to the apex court against the October 23 orders of the CVC and the Centre divesting him of powers and sending him on leave, some of his junior officers, who were transferred overnight, had also joined him. One of the senior officers, DIG M K Sinha, had levelled “wild” allegations for which he was reprimanded by the top court.
A K Bassi was the initial probe officer in the case against Asthana and had arrested Devinder Kumar. However, hours after M Nageshwar Rao took over as interim CBI chief after Verma’s removal, Bassi was transferred to the Port Blair “in public interest”. He also approached the apex court against his transfer. Sinha, an IPS officer who was part of the investigation team probing Asthana’s role in an alleged corruption case, had moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of his transfer to Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Besides them, CBI’s Additional SP S S Gurm moved the high court seeking to be impleaded as a party in the matter, alleging that Asthana was misleading the court by placing “selective” facts before it. Gurm was transferred from Delhi to Jabalpur. Later, complainant Sathish Babu Sana too approached the high court seeking to be heard in the matter.