SC order comes late, PF scam accused cremated on Sunday


However, the order came too late as his body was cremated on Sunday evening, the police said.

“The cremation took place on Sunday at 6.30 pm. His wife Sushma Asthana, also an accused, came to attend the cremation,” Circle Officer (First) of Ghaziabad R K Gautam said.
“Though the postmortem on the body had been done earlier, his wife was released from jail by 5 pm, after which the cremation took place,” Gautam told IANS. 

Earlier, an apex court bench had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to preserve the body of Asthana, who died in mysterious circumstances in Dasana district jail in Ghaziabad on Saturday. The court also asked the CBI to spell out its stand on a petition seeking a second postmortem on Asthana’s body.

A bench headed by Justice D K Jain asked Indira Jaisingh, Additional Solicitor General, to seek instructions from the CBI and report back by Tuesday, when the matter would be taken up for hearing. The apex court agreed to take up the application moved by Nahar Singh Yadav, Secretary of Ghaziabad District Bar Association, seeking a second postmortem and probe by a special investigation team into the circumstances under which Asthana died in his cell. The first postmortem report had failed to determine the probable cause of Asthana’s death.

Senior counsel Anil Divan, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan which directed him to move the bench headed by Justice Jain hearing the main matter related to the PF scam.

Quoting media reports, Divan said Asthana, who was a “star witness,” apparently died due to poisoning and an independent probe was required to unravel the truth.
Meanwhile, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said Asthana’s death was shocking and needed to be probed. The UP government has ordered three probes into the incident. First, it ordered an administrative inquiry by District Magistrate R Ramesh Kumar, then another by DIG (Jail) A K Panda and a magisterial inquiry.

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