HC reserves order on Asthana plea seeking quashing of FIR

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved order on Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana’s plea seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) against him.

Justice Najmi Waziri was hearing Asthana and suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Devender Kumar’s pleas seeking quashing of FIRs against them, saying the cases were registered against them in an illegal manner with mala fide intention.

CBI Director Alok Verma’s counsel has justified the agency’s action against Asthana saying the registration of the FIR was in compliance of all existing laws, regulations and made after following due procedure.

According to the CBI, Kumar fabricated the statement of Sana Sathish Babu, a witness in the businessman Moin Qureshi case, showing he recorded the statement on September 26 in Delhi.

However, investigation revealed that Sana was not in Delhi on that day. He was in Hyderabad and joined the investigation only on October 1.

The CBI has registered an FIR against Asthana, Kumar and two others, alleging that they took bribes at least five times between December 2017 and October 2018.

Asthana, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a businessman who was being probed in the Qureshi case to “wreck” the investigation. The case was being examined by a special investigation team headed by Asthana.

On October 24, 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.