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CBI vs CBI: Agency fails to file charge sheet against accused, gets bail

By PTI Updated: Dec 18, 2018 11:21 pm

New Delhi, Dec. 18 (PTI): CBI’s failure to file charge sheet within the mandatory 60 days led a Delhi court on Tuesday to grant statutory bail to an alleged middleman arrested in connection with a bribery case involving the probe agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted the relief to Manoj Prasad, accepting his submissions that he was entitled to statutory bail as the agency could not file its report within time.
Senior advocate Vikahs Pahwa, appearing for the accused, told the court that FIR against Prasad under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC “did not include any offence which was punishable with death, life imprisonment or for a term of maximum 10-year jail term”.
The court said: “In view of the settled legal position, the statutory period for completion of investigation (filing of charge sheet) applicable to this case, when the accused is in judicial custody, is 60 days.”
Prasad, arrested on October 17, was in judicial custody.
He was earlier denied bail by the trial court on November 3 and later by the Delhi High Court on November 13, which said that the allegations against him were serious in nature.
The CBI had opposed the application saying that the investigation was at a crucial stage.
The trial court had on October 31 granted bail to CBI DSP Devender Kumar, a co-accused who was arrested on October 23, after the agency chose not the oppose his application.
Prasad, Asthana and CBI’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar have also filed separate petitions in the high court seeking quashing of the FIR against them.
The CBI had registered the case against Asthana on the basis of a complaint from Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana, facing probe in the 2017 case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
Sana alleged that the officer had helped him get a clean chit.
The agency had arrested Prasad in the case, when he returned from Dubai. It was alleged by Sana that Prasad and his brother Somesh had taken INR 2 crore to arrange a clean chit to him.
Nageswara Rao appointed CBI
additional director
M Nageswara Rao, who is holding post of interim CBI Director, was Tuesday promoted to the rank of an additional director by the government.
A 1986-batch IPS officer from the Odisha cadre, Rao’s name was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
The promotion of Rao, who took over as interim CBI Director amid a midnight drama on October 24, came after the government stepped in between Director CBI Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana fight, which reached court.
Rao was not considered for the rank of additional director in November 2016 as well as when a review of this batch took place in April 2018.
He had joined the CBI as a joint director in 2016.
The Supreme Court has asked Rao not to take any policy decisions until it hears the petition related to the feud between Verma and Asthana.
Rao took over as interim CBI director following a midnight government order giving him Verma’s powers.
He affixed signatures on over dozen transfer orders, mainly of those officers who were probing Asthana, besides ordering search and sealing of CBI
Director’s office.

By PTI Updated: Dec 18, 2018 11:21:44 pm