Delhi High Court rejects Rakesh Asthana’s plea seeking to quash FIR against him filed by CBI
In a major setback to special CBI director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy special director Devender Kumar, Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the plea filed by them seeking to quash an FIR filed against them by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On directions of ousted CBI chief Alok Verma, the CBI had registered an FIR against Asthana and Kumar for allegedly taking a bribe from Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana to clear his name from the Moin Qureshi case. The High Court also removed the interim ban from his arrest. However, Asthana's lawyer then requested to continue the ban on his arrest. After his lawyer's plea, the court verbally said that the status quo will remain for the next two weeks.
On October 15, following Sana’s testimony against Asthana before a magistrate court, the CBI had registered a corruption case against him for taking a bribe. Asthana had challenged the CBI move in the Delhi High Court which ordered the agency to maintain the status quo and granted him interim relief from the arrest.
In his plea mentioned before the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Rajendra Menon, Asthana had sought the court’s direction that no coercive action be taken against him.
The investigating agency defended the arrest of its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar saying "incriminating documents and evidence were found after raiding his office and residence".
In an unprecedented move, the CBI had told the court that an extortion racket in the garb of the investigation was being run from the CBI headquarters and that Kumar was also part of it.
Following the registration of FIR, Kumar, the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was arrested by the CBI on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, who had alleged to have paid bribes to get relief in the case.