CBI No 2 Rakesh Asthana Can’t Be Arrested Till Nov 14, Says High Court

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The High Court had earlier given protection to Rakesh Asthana till November 1.

New Delhi:

Rakesh Asthana, the number 2 officer in the Central Bureau of Investigation who challenged a bribery case against him, cannot be arrested till November 14. Today, the Delhi High Court today asked the agency to maintain the status quo on the proceedings against its special director.

The High Court had earlier given protection to Mr Asthana till November 1.

Responding to the petition by the official to cancel the First Information Report against him, the CBI told the court that allegations against Mr Asthana and others show cognisable offences, under which he can be arrested without a warrant.

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The agency argued that a roving inquiry against Mr Asthana at this stage was not permissible as they are looking into "several incriminating documents" and role of other persons in connection with the allegations against him.

Mr Asthana had moved court on October 15, asking that a First Information Report against him and three others be cancelled.

In his petition, the CBI Special Director alleged that the "highest officer of the premier investigating agency of the country," his boss Alok Verma, was trying to falsely implicate him to hide his "own criminal misconduct of influencing investigations in exchange for money".

The agency today said the investigation against Mr Asthana is at an early stage and it has been "handicapped" as certain files and documents related to the complaint were under the scrutiny of the Central Vigilance Commission.

Rakesh Asthana had written to the Chief Vigilance Commission, the top anti-corruption watchdog, that it was Mr Verma who had taken bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman being investigated by the agency.

The Supreme Court said a vigilance inquiry against Mr Verma would be time-bound and monitored by an ex-judge.

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