New Delhi [India], Mar 7 (ANI): A special court on Saturday took cognizance of the filed CBI charge-sheet, which gave a clean chit to Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar.
The court has also issued summons to Manoj Prasad, Someshvar Prasad and Sunil Mittal.
Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal, while taking cognizance of the CBI charge-sheet, said that as far as the two public servants are concerned - then special director Rakesh Asthana and then DSP Devender Kumar - the court concurs with CBI finding that there is no sufficient material against them.
The CBI charge-sheet was filed only against Manoj Prasad. However, the court found that there is sufficient evidence to pursue the trial against Someshwar Prasad and Sunil Mittal and summoned them for April 13.
It further observed that since CBI in its charge-sheet has stated that it is an ongoing investigation, the two (Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar) can be summoned if and when there is material evidence against them.
The CBI case will be pursued against Manoj Prasad, Someshwar Prasad and Sunil Mittal under Sections 420, 385 read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 7 and 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Earlier, the CBI filed the charge-sheet in the FIR related to Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar in a bribery case. Both CBI officials have not been made an accused and kept in column 12 of the charge-sheet.
Earlier, former investigation officer (IO) Ajay Kumar Bassi told the CBI court in Delhi that there were clinching evidence against Rakesh Asthana in the alleged CBI vs CBI graft case. Bassi had appeared before the court and briefed about the probe conducted by him during his investigation period. However, current IO Satish Dagar had objected to some of the details given by Bassi and said whatever he is saying is not mentioned in the case diary.
A verbal spat had also broken out in the courtroom with the two slinging personal allegations against each other in the last hearing. During the last hearing, while considering the charge-sheet in the matter, current IO Satish Dagar had alleged that former IO Ajay Kumar Bassi was removed from the probe due to his biased investigation.
Bassi, on the other hand, had alleged that Dagar has made up his mind to give clean chit to Rakesh Asthana despite there being clinching evidence against him. He said that Dagar did not even seize Asthana's phone and other electronic evidence.
Following the spat, special CBI judge Sanjeev Aggarwal had asked the two to be silent and said, "There is no point in washing dirty linen in public. You both worked in the same organisation, which is bigger than an individual."
Devender Kumar, who was arrested in 2018 and later got bail, was not named in the charge-sheet as an accused in the case since there was not enough evidence.
The CBI had registered the FIR against Asthana on the basis of a complaint from Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Babu Sana, facing probe in the 2017 case allegedly involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi. The CBI is probing Asthana and Kumar for allegedly accepting a bribe in exchange of giving a clean chit to Sathish Babu Sana.
Asthana had also accused former CBI Director Alok Verma of trying to falsely implicate him in the case, following which the Centre sent both the officers on leave last year. (ANI)