Cogent evidence against Asthana, need thorough probe: Verma tells HC

New Delhi: CBI chief Alok Verma on Friday defended the filing of FIR against special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana and contended that the “serious allegations of corruption and extortion” against his deputy need to be thoroughly investigated.

Opposing Asthana’s plea in the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the FIR against him, Verma said the petition was not maintainable and misconceived and claimed that it was only aimed at “maligning” his (Verma) image.

The hearing in the Delhi High Court is separate from the proceedings in the Supreme Court, which has reserved its judgment on Verma’s plea challenging the Modi government’s move to strip him of all his powers and responsibilities as the CBI chief.

“The complainant Satish Babu Sana raised serious allegations of corruption, extortion, serious malpractices and high-handedness against (Asthana) in handling the particular case and therefore, after having received the complaint of the serious nature, it was, but incumbent on the responsible officers of CBI to register the FIR,” Verma said in his affidavit.

He said the registration of the FIR was in compliance of all the existing laws, regulations and made after following due procedure.

Verma said there was “highly incriminating materials” against Asthana and a thorough probe was necessary against him to restore public confidence in the investigative agency.

Seeking dismissal of Asthana’s petition, Verma said the serious allegations of corruption against Asthana required to be thoroughly investigated.

“The FIR (against Asthana) is validly and legally registered based on cogent material disclosing cognizable offences and it does not require any interference at this stage as the investigation into the serious allegations has yet to be carried out and, therefore, the instant petition ought to be rejected and dismissed.

“The allegations of corruption against the petitioner, who is holding an important and very high public office of such a prestigious institution, raises serious concerns which are required to be thoroughly investigated without any bias or malice so that the public faith in the institution is maintained,” Verma said.