Clash Within CBI Intensifies With Case Against Its Number 2 Officer

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Rakesh Asthana has alleged that the complaint against him was the result of a conspiracy.

New Delhi:

The internal conflict in the Central Bureau of Investigation between chief Alok Verma and his number 2 Rakesh Asthana has escalated with the agency filing a bribery case against the latter. In retaliation, Mr Asthana has written to the government, saying a "false FIR (First Information Report)" has been lodged against him.

Mr Asthana's name came up in the complaint of Satish Sana, a Hyderabad-based businessman, who was being investigated in a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, arrested in a money laundering case.

In his statement to CBI, Satish Sana said he paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to Rakesh Asthana. The money was paid over a 10-month period – starting from December 2017 – so that he is not named in the CBI case against Moin Qureshi.

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Mr Asthana alleged that Satish Sana's complaint was the result of a conspiracy between him and certain officers of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

He also alleged corrupt practices by CBI chief and his Chief Vigilance Officer Arun Sharma. In a communication to the cabinet secretary in August, he had mentioned 10 instances of corruption, criminal misconduct, interference in the investigations of the sensitive cases, he said.

He also said the CBI chief had been paid Rs 2 crore by Satish Sana for scuttling the probe in Moin Quereshi's case. After Satish Sama was prevented from skipping the country and asked to join the investigation, the conspiracy against him was hatched.

During a recent interrogation Satish Sana has admitted settlement with the Director through a lawmaker of Telgu Desam Party who has been raided by the income tax authorities, Mr Asthana told the cabinet secretariat.

The Enforcement Directorate said Moin Qureshi was being investigated for allegedly remitting funds through hawala channels to Dubai, London, and a few other destinations in Europe.

The agency also said records from the Income Tax department also showed Mr Qureshi took huge amounts of money from different persons to obtain "undue favours from public servants" after exercising his personal influence.

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