The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted two more months to the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) to complete its investigation in a bribery case allegedly involving agency’s former special director Rakesh Asthana and others. Justice Vibhu Bakhru made it clear that no further time will be granted to the agency to complete the investigation in the case.
The high court passed the order while disposing of a plea by the CBI seeking extension of time to complete the probe in the case by six months.
Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the CBI, said Letters Rogatory or LR has been sent to the USA and UAE and the response is awaited due to which the investigation could not be completed. LRs are a formal request from a court to a foreign court seeking some judicial assistance.
He urged the court to grant three more months to complete the investigation.
The plea was opposed by the counsel for the three accused, Rakesh Asthana, DSP Devender Kumar and businessman Manoj Prasad.
On January 11, the high court had granted 10 weeks to the probe agency to complete the investigation. It granted four more months after the agency approached the court after completion of 10 weeks time. Rakesh Asthana was booked on the allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Devender Kumar, earlier the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who had allegedly paid bribe to get relief in the case.
He was arrested on October 22, 2018 and granted bail on October 31. The high court in January had disposed of three petitions of Rakesh Asthana, Devender Kumar and Manoj Prasad by a common order in which the CBI was directed to complete investigation in the case within ten weeks.
An FIR registered by the CBI on October 15, 2018, when Alok Verma was director of the agency, had alleged that a suspect in the Moin Qureshi case had been forced to pay Rs 2.95 crore to Asthana through Prasad brothers to water down the case against him. The suspect, Sathish Sana Babu, was made a witness in the case by CBI.