CBI officer probing FIR against Asthana moves SC

CBI officer probing FIR against Asthana moves SC

Rakesh Asthana (PTI File Photo)

A CBI officer, who investigated a bribery FIR against then special director Rakesh Asthana, on Monday approached the Supreme Court, challenging the January 11 order to shift him to Port Blair.

DSP Ajay Kumar Bassi claimed that his previous transfer to the same place was revoked by Alok Verma after the Supreme Court reinstated him but subsequent to removal of Verma, he was again sent back to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

“He is being victimised by the present ‘acting/ interim’ director CBI M Nageswara Rao, who represents certain elements within the CBI, who did want the petitioner herein to conduct a free and fair investigation in the Asthana FIR,” his petition claimed.

It was Rao who had passed "the infamous" transfer order on October 24 and it is again the same Rao at whose behest and direction to transfer his order has been passed, “in utter disregard" to the judgment of this court in Alok Verma case, it added.

Bassi, who was connected to 2017 probe in the Sterling Bio-Tech case, claimed there was an “undeniable, cogent, clear and unmistakable link" of Asthana and his family with fugitive accused Nitin and Chetan Sandesara. He also disclosed communications purportedly brought out between senior RAW officer Samanta Goel and other accused in the bribery case.

He claimed his transfer was pursuant to “a deep rooted conspiracy, aimed at influencing the course of the investigation against Asthana and further to penalise him for discharging his duties in a free and impartial manner”.

The petitioner apprehended that the course of investigation in the FIR against Asthana will be influenced in such a manner that investigators will soon be arraigned as accused persons. He pointed out that the investigation in the case already been handed over to CBI SP Sathish Dagar.

“The transfer order is vitiated by malafides and non-application of mind. The petitioner’s life, liberty and dignity are under threat of vindictive and vicious officials against whom the investigation was proceeding in a just and fair manner,” his petition filed by advocate Sunil Fernandes said.