The Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested its own Deputy SP Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegation against Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Devender Kumar has been arrested on the allegation of falsification of records in the in an ongoing investigation. Kumar was earlier the Investigating Officer in the Moin Qureshi case.
Kumar was named in the FIR filed against CBI's no 2 officer Special Director Rakesh Asthana and a few others for falsifying a statement by Sathish Sana, an alleged eyewitness in the case against meat-exporter Qureshi.
According to information available with India TV, it was found that Kumar had fabricated the statement as an afterthought plan to corroborate the baseless allegations made by Special Director, Rakesh Asthana against Director, CBI Alok Kumar Verma to CVC. Looking into the seriousness of the matter role of other officers of SIT, CBI then supervising the Moin Qureshi case are also being probed, sources said.
In a raid at Devender Kumar's residence, CBI has recovered eight mobiles phones and one iPad. The agency has also recovered some documents related to Moin Qureshi case. According to sources, the CBI is also undertaking searches at Devender Kumar's office within its premises.
CBI is likely to present the arrested DSP before Patiala House Court in New Delhi at 11 am tomorrow.
CBI FIR against its own top brass
In an unprecedented move, CBI on October 15 registered a case against CBI Special Director Asthana on the basis of a complaint from Sana, facing probe in the 2017 case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, alleging the officer had allegedly helped him to get a clean chit.
The CBI has also arrested Manoj Prasad, believed to be a middleman, when he returned from Dubai on October 16.
The agency has, however, maintained a silence on the issue.
Asthana, along with his colleague Devender Kumar (DSP, CBI, SIT), and Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, have been committing offences under section 120B of the IPC and section 7 and 13 (2) read with 13(1) of Prevent of Corruption Act 1988 amd section 7A of Prevention of Corruption Act (ammended in 2018).
It is alleged by Sana that Prasad and his brother Somesh had taken money to arrange clean chit to him.
Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Asthana, who is heading the Special Investigating Team handling crucial cases such as AgustaWestland chopper scam and loan fraud by business tycoon Vijay Mallya. The team is also probing the Moin Qureshi case.
Asthana in an exhaustive letter to the Cabinet Secretary on August 24 had given a list of 10 instances of alleged corruption by Verma in which it was alleged that Sana paid the CBI chief Rs 2 crore to get clean chit in the case, government sources said.
This complaint was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission which is probing the matter, they said.
Asthana has again written to the Central Vigilance Commissioner on October 19 -- four days after the FIR was registered -- informing him that he wanted to arrest and interrogate Sana for which a proposal was sent to the Director on September 20, 2018, they said.
In the letter, he has also referred to his communication to Cabinet Secretary on August 24 in which details of alleged irregularities against the Director were given.
He said the Director allegedly held the file for nearly four days and marked to the Director of Prosecution (DoP) on September 24, 2018 who demanded all evidence available on record, the sources said.
It was the team under Asthana which had opened a lookout circular against Sana who attempted to flee the country but could not because of the preemptive action, they said.
Asthana has said that the file was again placed before the Director on October 3 with answers to the queries raised by the DoP but it has not been returned till date, the sources said.
Sana was questioned by the SIT on October 1, 2018 where he stated that he had met a politician, who after meeting Verma, had assured him that his name would be cleared from the case, they said citing submissions of Asthana.
Watch full coverage of the news on India TV's special show Aaj ki Baat with Rajat Sharma: