Prime Minister Narendra Modi today summoned two top directors of CBI, Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who were locked in infighting and a case of bribe was booked against the later. Prime Minister said to be disturbed that for the first time, the CBI has named its own Rakesh Asthana as an accused of accepting a Rs 2 crore bribe to settle Hyderabad-based meat exporter Moin Qureshi’s case.
Apart from Asthana, the CBI has also named RAW number two Samant Kumar Goel in the FIR. Goel has been accused of facilitating the deal between Asthana and Qureshi. The FIR was filed on October 15 and one Manoj, who allegedly transferred the bribe, was arrested the following day.
Earlier in his letters addressed to the Cabinet Secretary and Central Vigilance Commission, Asthana had alleged 10 cases of corruption and irregularities against CBI chief Alok Verma, levelling serious corruption charges in some of them.
The CBI 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, they said.
Surprisingly, Asthana, had intimated the cabinet secretary nearly two months ago that Sana had allegedly paid a bribe of RS 2 crore to CBI Chief Alok Verma to get relief in the case. The agency, however, claimed on Sunday, that Sana had appeared before the magistrate and stated that he made payments between December, 2017, and October, 2018, to a middleman, who had cited his purported connection with Asthana to ensure relief for him.
On the basis of his claims, the agency arrested Manoj Prasad on October 16 when he was returning from Dubai to allegedly collect an installment of the agreed bribe amount. Nowhere in the statement, which is now part of the FIR, made public nearly five days after registration, Sana had mentioned any direct meeting, interaction or payment of bribe to Asthana.