A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Delhi on Wednesday hauled up the agency for not conducting a lie detector or psychological test on its former special director Rakesh Asthana in a 2018 corruption case in which he was cleared by the CBI earlier this month.
CBI special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal also directed that the first Investigating Officer of the case, Ajay Kumar Bassi, to be present during the next hearing on February 28 to explain the case diary.
Bassi was shunted out to Port Blair by interim CBI director M Nageswara Rao on October 23, 2018 — a week after the controversial first information report (FIR) was registered against Asthana. Bass is yet to join work in Port Blair. Aggarwal said advocate Sunil Mittal, to whom an alleged bribe of ~1.95 crore was paid, as alleged in the FIR, “seems like a fictional character emerging from Mission Impossible and James Bond movies”.
Asthana was accused in a bribery case that was filed against him by the then CBI director Alok Kumar Verma in October 2018. He was booked on allegations of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) on a complaint filed by Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana.
Asthana has maintained that the complaint was fabricated at Verma’s behest. The agency said there was no evidence which shows that Asthana ever demanded or paid bribe to save Sathish Sana Babu in the case related to meat exporter Moin Qureshi.
On Wednesday, the court asked the CBI whether there was a telephonic conversation recording of Asthana, which the agency denied. “What about calls made to him via WhatsApp? The complainant, Sana Satish Babu, has said this in his statement recorded before a magistrate … Evidence cannot be disregarded at filing of charge sheet,” the court said.