Arrested CBI Officer Says Bribery Case Against Him “Illegal, Frivolous”

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Devender Kumar has been sent to seven-day CBI custody.

New Delhi:

A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI arrested an investigating officer and conducted searches at its own headquarters, the officer challenged his arrest in the Delhi High Court. The officer also sought cancellation of the First Information Report or FIR, terming it as "illegal, frivolous and malafide". The agency, however, has been granted his custody for seven days. He has also been suspended by the agency.

The CBI has accused Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the agency's number 2, of corruption and filed a bribery case that led to the arrest of Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar. The officer was part of Mr Asthana's team which was investigating a money laundering case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

Mr Asthana, who also challenged bribery charges against him and asked for protection from arrest today, will not be arrested at least till Monday — when the case is taken up next — the Delhi High Court said.

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Devender Kumar has been accused of forgery during recording the statement of Sathish Sana, a Hyderabad-based businessman linked to the Moin Qureshi case, who claimed to have paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to get relief in the case.

The CBI claimed that Mr Kumar was part of an extortion racket being run in the garb of investigation.

Devendra Kumar's lawyer argued that the FIR is an effort to derail the case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi in which he was being made a scapegoat. He also informed the court that the CBI allegedly took Mr Kumar's signatures on blank papers.

His counsel requested the court that his client be allowed home-cooked food, but the court said it would be safer to have food provided by the CBI.

Mr Kumar was arrested a day after the CBI filed an FIR against Mr Asthana, Kumar and two others alleging that bribes were accepted at least five times between December 2017 and October this year. His home in Delhi was raided by the CBI on Sunday and eight cellphones and an ipad were seized.

The officer said that the CBI didn't provide a seizure memo of the items, prompting the judge to direct the agency to submit the receipt in the court.

His family and lawyer are allowed meet Devender Kumar for 15 minutes every day, the court said.

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