HC rejects middleman’s bail plea in case against Asthana

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of a middleman, Manoj Prasad, in a corruption case involving the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

Justice Najmi Waziri dismissed the bail plea observing that the allegations against Prasad were serious in nature and the investigation in the case was at a crucial stage.

The CBI had on October 15 registered a case against Asthana for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 2 crore from Sana Sathish Babu which was given through two middlemen — Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad — to wreck the probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Manoj Prasad was arrested on October 17.

CBI’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is accused of falsifying records of the corruption case, was arrested on October 22. Kumar was granted bail by a trial court on October 31.

Kumar was an Investigating Officer in a case against Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption.

On October 24, CBI chief Alok Verma was divested of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was made the Interim Director.

Asthana was also divested of all his supervisory responsibilities.

The government took the decision after Verma and Asthana accused each other of taking bribes.