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Rakesh Asthana case: PM Modi summons CBI chief and his deputy

On Monday, the CBI arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations against Mr. Asthana and others.

Amid the escalating bitter turf war among the top brass in the Central Bureau of Investigation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has summoned CBI Director Alok Verma and second-in-command Rakesh Asthana to “get the details of the current happenings” in the agency.

“PM wants to know the full facts of what is happening,” a PMO official said.

On Monday, the CBI arrested its Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in connection with bribery allegations against Mr. Asthana and others.

The CBI has alleged falsification of a statement given by Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Sana, under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, by Mr. Kumar in the Moin Qureshi case.

The Deputy SP was then the investigating officer of the Moin Qureshi case.

Mr. Sana had recently lodged a complaint, on the basis of which the CBI has registered an FIR against Mr. Asthana and others, including the Deputy SP.

The agency alleged that Mr. Sana was shown to have given said statement on September 26 in Delhi, when he was actually in Hyderabad.

“It was fabricated as an afterthought to substantiate the complaint made by the Special Director against the CBI Director to the Central Vigilance Commission in August,” said an agency official.

In response to a summons in the Moin Qureshi case, Mr. Sana had joined the investigation on October 1 in Delhi and gave his statement on October 3, said the agency.

The CBI said it is also examining the role of a special probe team thst was probing the Moin Qureshi case, in which the role of former CBI chief A.P. Singh was also under the scanner.

Those named as accused in the FIR are Mr. Asthana, Mr. Kumar, Dubai-based investment banker Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prasad. More than ₹3 crore in bribes were paid by the complainant to get relief from CBI summons in the Moin Qureshi case.

The CBI had earlier arrested Manoj in the evening of October 16. Searches were also conducted on the Investigating Officer’s premises on Saturday, and eight mobile phones were seized.

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