CBI arrests its Deputy SP in bribery case allegedly involving its Special Director
New Delhi, Oct. 22 (PTI): The CBI has arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations involving its Special Director and second-in-command Rakesh Asthana, officials said Monday.
The agency carried out searches at his office and residence on Sunday evening and claimed to have recovered mobile phones and iPad that were being analysed, the CBI officials said.
In a first, the CBI booked its Special Director Asthana in a case of alleged bribery.
It is alleged that Asthana, with whom CBI Director Alok Verma is openly having a feud with allegations and counter-allegations being levelled from both sides, had favoured businessman Sathish Sana in a case in lieu of bribe of Rs 5 crore received by middleman Manoj Prasad.
Prasad was arrested when he visited India on October 16, 2018.
The case has been handed over to an officer of the CBI against whom Asthana had levelled allegations of insubordination and doubtful integrity.
Kumar, who was earlier the investigation officer in the case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, has been arrested on the charge of forgery in recording the statement of Sana, who had alleged to have paid bribes to get relief in the case, they said.
It is alleged that a statement of Sana was purportedly recorded on September 26, 2018 by the investigating team headed by Asthana, but it emerged in the CBI probe that on that given day the businessman was in Hyderabad, they claimed.
The agency said it has evidence in the form of hotel bills, etc. which show his presence in Hyderabad on that day.
In his statement, Sana had purportedly said that he had in June this year discussed his case with Telugu Desam Party’s Rajya Sabha member C M Ramesh who, after speaking to the CBI Director, had assured him that he would not be summoned again, according to the officials.
“From June onwards, I was not called by the CBI. I was under the impression that investigation against me is complete,” he is believed to have said.
The CBI has now alleged that Kumar had fabricated this statement as an “afterthought…to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Asthana against CBI Director Alok Verma to the CVC (Central Vigilance Commissioner)”, they claimed.
They said the agency was also looking into the alleged role of other members of the special investigation team headed by Asthana.
Asthana, who has been booked by the agency on bribery charges, had complained against CBI Director Verma on August 24, 2018 that he had taken bribe of Rs 2 crore from Sana to give him relief in the matter.
The CBI also refused to comment on Asthana’s allegations that Additional Director A K Sharma’s family members were running shell companies, saying the Central Vigilance Commission is looking into the case.