Delhi HC Refuses to Cancel Bribery FIR Against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana

The high court also vacated its interim order granting protection to Asthana against criminal proceedings.

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday refused to quash the FIR lodged against Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special director Rakesh Asthana on bribery allegations.

Justice Najmi Waziri also refused to quash the FIR lodged against CBI deputy superintendent Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad.

The high court directed the CBI to complete investigation in the case against Asthana and others within 10 weeks.

The high court further said that the allegation of “mala fide” raised against then CBI Director Alok Verma is not made out. It also vacated its interim order granting protection to Asthana against criminal proceedings.

Justice Waziri said that permission for prior sanction to prosecute Asthana and Kumar was not required considering the facts of the case.

The high court dismissed the petitions filed by Asthana, Kumar and Prasad challenging the FIR lodged against them. Asthana was booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, on whose complaint the FIR was lodged, had allegedly paid a bribe to get relief in a case. Sana had also made allegations of corruption, extortion, high-handedness and serious malpractice against Asthana.

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Justice Waziri had reserved the judgement on December 20, 2018 on various petitions after hearing submissions of the counsel for CBI, the Centre, Asthana, Kumar, Verma and Joint Director A.K. Sharma.

The move comes just after Central Bureau of Investigation director Alok Verma was sacked by a high-powered committee on Thursday night after the Supreme Court held his ouster to be illegal and restored him to his position. Mr Verma had earlier approached the Supreme Court after the government sent both Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana on immediate leave and appointed an interim chief.

(Woth inputs from PTI)

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