India’s one of the top most autonomous body ,the Central
Bureau of Investigation has named its second-in-command Rakesh Asthana as an
accused in a bribery case along with another agency official and two private
Those named as accused in the FIR are Mr.
Asthana, CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, Dubai-based
investment banker Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prashad.
More than Rs.3
crore in bribes were paid by the complainant for getting relief in a case
against meat exporter Moin Qureshi and others.
Rakesh Asthana is accused of accepting a bribe of Rs. 2 crore in a case that also involves businessman Moin Qureshi.
The agency alleges that bribes were taken in five
instalments in December 2017 and October 2018 to give a clean chit to the
As alleged,Rs.1 crore was paid on December 10 and Rs.1.95
crore on December 13 last; Rs.25 lakh on October 10; and 55, 000 dirhams on
Accused Somesh handled Mr. Asthana’s investments in Dubai and
The amended provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act,
which mandates prior approval for initiating a probe against senior government
functionaries, would not apply in the case of Mr. Asthana.
According to the FIR, the businessman was summoned in the
Moin Qureshi case several times for questioning on a Rs.50 lakh transaction in
During a trip to Dubai, he met Manoj who allegedly got him
in touch with his brother for getting relief from CBI summonses.
The FIR alleges that Somesh, after talking to a CBI official
on the phone, demanded Rs.3 crore as the initial amount and Rs.2 crore after
the filing of the charge sheet in the case.
Subsequently, the businessman allegedly paid about Rs.3
crore through middlemen.
However, on September 25 this year, he was stopped at the
airport as a look-out circular had been issued against him when he along with
his family was to board a flight from Hyderabad to Paris.
Before the present complaint was filed, Mr. Asthana filed a
complaint against the CBI Director before the Central Vigilance Commission
(CVC), accusing him of interfering in a corruption case involving family
members of RJD leader Lalu Prasad.
In August this year, Mr. Asthana wrote to the Cabinet
Secretary bringing to his notice certain corrupt practices within the CBI.
Earlier, Mr. Asthana is facing bribery allegations and his name
had surfaced in the Sandesara brothers’ case.
The Vadodara-based businessmen Sandesara brothers are now
abroad, evading probe and arrests by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate
for allegedly defrauding banks of Rs.5,200 crore.
The CBI is investigating its two former chiefs A.P. Singh
and Ranjit Sinha in other cases.