CBI officer AK Bassi on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging his transfer to Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bassi, who is investigating an alleged bribery case against controversial Special Director Rakesh Asthana, claimed having evidence of bribes being paid to Asthana in the money laundering case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
"We will see", a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice KM Joseph said as Bassi's counsel sought an early hearing on the plea.
Bassi sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the bribery allegations against Asthana.
He was an investigating officer in the case and had gathered incriminating material when he was sent on leave by the government following an internecine war in the CBI, Bassi told the court.
He also cited WhatasApp messages and calls as evidence in his petition and told the court he has evidence of Rs 3.3 crore allegedly being paid as bribe to Asthana through the Prasad brothers.
Bassi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, alleged that the statement of Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana "revealed shocking details of alleged corruption and illegal gratification by Rakesh Asthana, the then Special Director CBI, in collusion and conspiracy with other co-accused person namely, Somesh Prasad and Manoj Prasad and other unknown accused persons."
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The investigation conducted by him revealed that the act of demanding and accepting illegal gratification primarily pertained to two distinct periods - December 2017 and October 2018, he said.
M Nageshwar Rao, who took as interim chief of the agency on October 23, had transferred Bassi, along with 12 other officers of the agency - almost all those in CBI Director Alok Verma's team which was probing bribery charges against Asthana.
Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer of the Gujarat cadre, is accused of accepting bribe of Rs 2 crore from a businessman who was being investigated in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case in order to "wreck" the investigation.