Asthana, no.2 in CBI named as accused no.1 in a bribery case by CBI itself

New Delhi, Oct 22: The Central Bureau of Investigation Sunday tried to defend its director Alok Verma following allegations of corruption levelled against him by his deputy Rakesh Asthana, booked by the agency on bribery charges last week, saying they are "false and malicious".   In his letters to the Cabinet Secretary and Central Vigilance Commission, Asthana had written about 10 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities against Verma, levelling serious corruption charges in some of them. One of the case pertained to Sathish Sana, a businessman facing probe in a corruption case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi in which Asthana had alleged on August 24 that Sana paid Rs 2 crore to Verma to get relief in the case. Asthana had also alleged that Verma delayed his team's request to arrest Sana in the case. The complaint was referred to Central Vigilance Commission by the Government which is looking into it. Gujarat-cadre officer Asthana, currently number two in the CBI, has also cited instances of alleged irregularities and violation of rules and regulations against Verma. In an unprecedented operation, the CBI registered an FIR against Asthana and his deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar, and two alleged middlemen Somesh Prasad and Manoj Prasad on the basis of a statement from Sana that bribe was paid to the middlemen to get relief in repeated questioning by the Asthana's Special Investigation Unit. Asthana had alleged that he had moved a file for the arrest of Sana on September 20, 2018 which was held by the CBI Director Alok Verma and was later referred to Director of Prosecution who demanded the evidence file. He had alleged that it was his team which opened a Look Out Circular against Sana who was stopped at immigration and prevented from fleeing the country.In a tatement, CBI spokesperson said allegations that director CBI was not aware of LOC issued against Satish Sana is incorrect. "DCBI had seen and ratified the proposal to issue LOC on May 21, 2018," he said. The spokesperson said contention that director CBI made an attempt to stop Sana's arrest is false and malicious. "The allegation has been made to deflect the charge of receipt of bribe money by CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana and the other public servant named in the FIR," he said. -- PTI