CBI books Rakesh Asthan in bribery scandal

Rakesh Asthana. (Image courtesy Twitter)

In an unprecedented move, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against its own special director Rakesh Asthana for demanding a hefty bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman for helping him get a clean chit in a case against controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi.

The agency booked Asthana along with another CBI official Devender Kumar, Dubai-based investment banker Manoj Prasad, Prasad's brother Somesh Prasad and other unknown persons under Section 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The agency sleuths have also arrested Manoj on October 16.

After his arrest, according to CBI sources, Manoj confessed to the crime.

The case was registered by the agency on a complaint from Satish Babu Sana, a businessman from Hyderabad, on October 15. 

Kumar, who has been made co-accused of Asthana in the case, was currently posted at the Special Investigation Team of the CBI in Delhi as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP).

In Sana's complaint, the name of Samant Kumar Goel, the second senior most official of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's external intelligence agency, along with one Parvez Hayat has also figured.

But, the agency has not yet made them accused in the case as it is probing into their role.

Asthana allegedly had demanded a total of Rs 5 crore as bribe from Sana through Prasad brothers, assuring that he would help him get clean chit from a case being investigated by the CBI against Qureshi and others. 

As per the alleged deal, Sana was supposed to pay Rs 3 crore in advance and the remaining Rs 2 crore later at the time of filing of the chargesheet by the agency in Qureshi's case with clean chit to Sana.

Sana allegedly paid Rs 1 crore to Manoj at his office in Dubai and made payment of Rs 1.95 crore, through his office staff to one Sunil Mittal here outside the Press Club of India.

He, however, later lodged a complaint with the CBI as Prasad brothers began mounting pressure on him for making payment of Rs 2 crore as bribe to Asthana soon after he paid Rs 2.95 crore to them under the alleged deal.

Sana claimed that he agreed to pay the hefty bribe to get rid of the CBI but the CBI DySP (Kumar) kept on harassing him.

While Sana has shared with the CBI records of the WhatsApp messages and voice calls made by the accused persons, the agency sleuths have also collected some evidence putting their mobile phone under surveillance.

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CBI books Rakesh Asthan in bribery scandal

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