CBI Joint Director Says Phone Calls, Intercepted Messages Prove Rakesh Asthana’s Dubai Link

News18.com
The primary basis of the argument of Asthana was that according to the Section 17A of the PC Act, no FIR can be registered against a serving public servant unless there is sanction from the competent authority.

New Delhi: In a new twist to the Rakesh Asthana case, the advocate appearing for CBI joint director AK Sharma in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday stated that he was in possession of "several incriminating documents" against Asthana and others which he would like to submit to the court in a sealed envelope.

This was after the lawyer for Sharma said that the CBI joint director was added as a party to the case.

Justice Najmi Waziri, meanwhile, extended the interim protection granted to Asthana from arrest till November 28 as a few of the parties were not served the counter affidavit.

Asthana had earlier alleged that AK Sharma’s family operates shell companies in partnership with dubious individuals, who are on the CBI list of undesirable contact men.

A Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, Sharma was appointed as the joint director (policy) in March after Verma took over as director in February. The director of policy is considered to be the second-most important post in the CBI.

Speaking to News18, Sharma’s advocate MA Niyazi said, "Evidences are in the form of telephonic conversation, intercepted text messages between the accused and the middlemen in Dubai. All the evidence will be submitted to court in a sealed envelope."

According to reports, Asthana had also alleged involvement of Sharma’s staff officer, Ashwani Gupta, in the operation of a shell company in Dwarka, Delhi.

In a detailed letter written to the CVC last month, Asthana has given details of the shell company allegedly run by Sharma’s son in partnership with a CBI accused’s relative.

During the hearing, Justice Waziri questioned Advocate Niyazi as to why the report of incriminating evidence not given to the agency probing the case (CBI). To this Niyazi said, "We don’t even know who is investigating the case."

Raising the ground of the FIR registered against Asthana being "ante dated", the lawyers for Asthana have also moved a counter affidavit in the Delhi High Court on November 13.

"FIR against me was registered on Oct 15 at 8 PM, reached the concerned Magistrate only after 51 hours, that is Oct 17 at 11.55 PM. This goes to show that the FIR was ante-dated," states the counter affidavit by the special CBI director.

Earlier on November 2, Rakesh Asthana, who challenged a bribery case against him, was granted interim protection from arrest till November 14.

Responding to the petition by the official to cancel the First Information Report against him, the CBI told the court that allegations against Asthana and others show cognisable offences, under which he can be arrested without a warrant.

The agency had argued that a roving inquiry against Asthana at this stage was not permissible as they are looking into "several incriminating documents" and role of other persons in connection with the allegations against him.

Asthana had moved court on October 15, asking that a First Information Report against him and three others be cancelled.

In his petition, the CBI special director alleged that the "highest officer of the premier investigating agency of the country," his boss Alok Verma, was trying to falsely implicate him to hide his "own criminal misconduct of influencing investigations in exchange for money".

The agency on Wednesday said the investigation against Asthana is at an early stage and it has been "handicapped" as certain files and documents related to the complaint were under the scrutiny of the Central Vigilance Commission.

Rakesh Asthana had written to the Chief Vigilance Commission, the top anti-corruption watchdog, that it was Alok Verma who had taken bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency.

Meanwhile on Monday a CJI Ranjan Gogoi led bench of the Supreme Court received the report by Central Vigilance Commission against Alok Verma, which was monitored by ex-judge Justice AK Patnaik.