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Delhi HC dismisses plea by Rakesh Asthana and Devender Kumar, CBI asked to complete probe in 10 weeks

The court has ordered the CBI to complete investigations in 10 weeks and submit the charge sheet. Asthana, Devender Kumar, and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad are the accused in the FIR.

The Delhi HC has dismissed a plea filed by former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy SP Devender Kumar seeking the quashing of FIR against them.

On a day when the removal of ex-CBI chief Alok Verma has stirred up wide speculations and debates on media, many eyes were on the Delhi HC hearing regarding the plea by Asthana and Kumar.

Asthana’s lawyer has reportedly argued that a prior consent under section 17 of the PC Act was required before acting against the official. The CBI, in its defense, stated that the sanction was not required. ASG Bikramjit Banerjee was appearing for the CBI. The HC then rejected Asthana’s contention underlining that when a cognisable offence is alleged to have been committed, there must be a probe.

As per reports, Asthana was booked under the charges of criminal conspiracy, corruption and criminal misconduct under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The FIR against him was lodged on a complaint by Hyderabad based businessman Satish Babu Sana.

As per latest reports, the court has asked the CBI to maintain status quo for 2 weeks. Along with Asthana, Dy SP Devender Kumar and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad. The bench headed by justice Najmi Waziri has asked the CBI to complete its investigation on the matter within 10 weeks and submit a charge sheet.

Devender Kumar was the investigating officer in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi. He was arrested on the allegations of forgery in recording the statement of Satish Sana.

Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre was accused to taking a bribe of Rs 3 crore from Sana. On 22 October, the day CBI made national headlines for raiding its own premises, Dy SP Devender Kumar was arrested on Sana’s complaint. Sana was also an accused in the infamous Moin Qureshi case which had taken down many high ranked sleuths in the country.

In 2014, Qureshi was raided by the Income Tax officials and his BBM communications with the former CBI chief AP Singh had led to the later resigning from his post in the UPSC.

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