Provide Security For Man Who Complained Against Rakesh Asthana: Top Court

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CBI charged Rakesh Asthana (in pic) in an alleged bribery case based on Satish Sana's complaint

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today directed the Hyderabad Police to provide adequate security to businessman Satish Sana, complainant in the alleged bribery case against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices UU Lalit and KM Joseph refused to stay the CBI summons against him and also rejected his plea for recording of his statement in presence of retired former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik.

Satish Sana, on whose complaint an FIR was registered against the CBI Special Director, had moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking police protection and a stay on the notice issued by the agency summoning him for interrogation.

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The CBI had charged Mr Asthana on October 15 on the basis of a complaint from Mr Sana, facing probe in a 2017 case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, claiming that the special director had allegedly helped him to get a clean chit from the probe agency.

Besides seeking a stay on CBI's summons against him, Mr Sana in his petition had expressed fear for his life and sought police protection during the pendency of the inquiry against Mr Asthana, who along side CBI Director Alok Verma has been divested of duties and sent on leave by the Central government.

The businessman, in his plea, had referred to the top court's October 26 order on the petition of the CBI Director by which the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was asked to conclude inquiry against Mr Verma within two weeks under the supervision of former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik.

He had said that the CBI moved "in haste" to issue notice to him under Section 160 of the CrPC (Code Of Criminal Procedure) to attend the proceedings on October 29 before the probe agency and said that the same be recorded before Justice Patnaik.

Mr Sana had said that he gave a statement under section 161 before the CBI on a October 20 and on the same day, under section 164 statement was recorded before the Metropolitan Magistrate in Saket Court and the relevant statements of the applicant are already in record.

He had said that he has written a letter to Justice (retired) Patnaik, who would be supervising the CVC's inquiry into the allegations against Mr Verma, stating readiness and willingness to give statements under his supervision.

He had sought the court's direction that he be questioned only under the supervision of Justice Patnaik.

"This will ensure that the interests of justice are met since the applicant came forward as a whistle blower trusting the officials of the CBI."

"Without casting any aspersions on the present Investigating Officer, the applicant fears that the change in IO (investigation officer) and other surrounding circumstances may put his life in danger and therefore seeks a direction to the Hyderabad Superintendent of Police to provide police protection to the applicant till such time as the inquiry mandated by the top court is completed," the plea had said.

Mr Sana had also said that he was willing to cooperate with the investigation by coming to Delhi as and when directed by the judge supervising the enquiry.

The tussle between Mr Verma and Mr Asthana escalated recently leading to registration of an FIR against Mr Asthana and others including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar, who is in the CBI custody in an alleged bribery case.

The FIR was lodged on a written complaint of Sana on October 15. It alleged that Mr Kumar, the investigating officer (IO) in a case, was repeatedly calling him to the CBI office to harass and compel him to pay bribe of Rs 5 crore for giving him clean chit.

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