Officer Who Probed Rakesh Asthana Faced Questions In School Murder Case

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CBI Officer AK Bassi faced an internal inquiry, said sources.

New Delhi:

CBI officer AK Bassi, who claimed evidence against the agency's number two Rakesh Asthana in the Supreme Court today, also has questions in his record as investigator.

In his petition in the top court challenging his transfer to Port Blair and asking for a special probe against Mr Asthana, Mr Bassi refers to his previous case, the murder of a student in Ryan International, to prove his credentials.

However, NDTV has spoken to officials who reveal that Mr Bassi's record in that case is very problematic.

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In September last year, a seven-year-old student was found with his throat slit at a school in Gurgaon. The Haryana police accused a school bus conductor and arrested him. Amid public outrage and the child's family's calls for a thorough investigation, the CBI was called in. The agency zeroed in on a senior student of the same school; investigators said the teen wanted an excuse to shut down the school as he was afraid of exams. On the face of it, this was a sensational resolution of a case, ending with a 5000-page charge-sheet. However, NDTV has learnt that Mr Bassi faced an internal inquiry and his boss asked for him to be suspended and transferred pending an inquiry.

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In his petition in the top court, AK Bassi challenges his transfer to Port Blair.

His boss Gagandeep Gambhir, in charge of the Special Crime branch, was responding to allegations of intimidation and possible corruption against Mr Bassi.

Mr Bassi was accused of threatening a local businessman and some other witnesses in the school case.

He was transferred out of the Special Crimes unit, but shifted to the Anti-Corruption Branch earlier this year. Insiders say the allegations against Mr Bassi, which were corroborated by other police officials in the case, were overlooked by Director Alok Verma.

Rakesh Rathi, an officer in charge of the Special Unit, took strong exception to the transfer. He was on record saying: "Never in the history of the CBI has any officer accused of corruption been posted in the anti-corruption branch.''

When NDTV contacted the CBI spokesperson, he refused to comment. Mr Bassi's lawyer Sunil Fernandes said: "What happened before this case doesn't matter. What matters is what is happening right now and whether they are tampering with the evidence collected by the investigating officer.''

Incidentally, the mother of the murdered child told NDTV: "I only know of him from how he handled my son's case and we found him to be very effective and good at investigating it.''

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