Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly summoned the two top officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Rakesh Asthana and Alok Verma, amid their public fight over bribery and corruption allegations.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a bribery case against Rakesh Asthana, who had written to the government listing several charges against his boss Alok Verma. On Sunday, the CBI tried to defend its Alok Verma following allegations of corruption levelled against him by Rakesh Asthana saying they are "false and malicious".
The CBI claims to have analysed nine phone calls immediately after middleman Manoj Prasad was arrested in the alleged bribery case against Rakesh Asthana to allege that there was panic after the middleman's brother got "wind" of the arrest.
Meanwhile, the CBI arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in connection with a bribery case involving Rakesh Asthana.
The investigative agency has registered a case against Asthana on the basis of claims made by a businessman, Sathish Sana, probed by him in a separate case, that he was asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 crore by Manoj Prasad, an investment banker based in Dubai to get relief from repeated summons and a clean chit in the case.
In his letters to the Cabinet Secretary and Central Vigilance Commission, Asthana had written about 10 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities against Verma, levelling serious corruption charges in some of them. One of the cases pertained to Sathish Sana, a businessman facing probe in a corruption case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi in which Asthana had alleged on August 24 that Sana paid Rs 2 crore to Verma to get relief in the case. Asthana had also alleged that Verma delayed his team's request to arrest Sana in the case.
Devender Kumar, who was the investigating officer in the Qureshi case, has been accused of forgery in recording the statement of businessman Sathish Sana, a key witness in the case.
Serious credibility crisis in CBI, govt to be blamed: Congress
On Monday, the Congress Monday said there is a serious credibility crisis in the CBI with its top officers accusing each of massive corruption and blamed "vested interests" within the government for bringing the agency to "such a pass". Terming the issue "very serious", Congress leader Sachin Pilot accused the government of interference in the CBI and asked why it was silent on the issue.
"How do we trust the CBI to look at corruption issues when their top people are themselves involved and allegations are flying thick and fast? The fact that it has reached this point tells you how long and how deep the rot may be within this government," Pilot told reporters at the Congress headquarters.
People's trust in CBI should continue: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party said on Monday said people's faith in an institution like the CBI should continue. Asked about the agency registering a case against Rakesh Asthana, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said there is also a report against Alok Verma, a reference to his deputy Asthana's complaint against him.
"There are two reports, one is against the director and another against the special director. We would like people's faith in the institution of the CBI to continue," she told reporters.
(With PTI inputs)