Team Probing Rakesh Asthana, Officer Withheld Facts, CBI Tells Court

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AK Bassi was transferred to Port Blair on October 24.

New Delhi:

A CBI officer who investigated corruption allegations against the agency's number two Rakesh Asthana may be charged with theft. The CBI told a court on Tuesday that the officer, AK Bassi, and his team seized 10 items during a raid but recorded only one.

The CBI team headed by AK Bassi, the man leading the investigations against Mr Asthana, didn't enter details of all the recovered items in the seizure document, Satish Dagar, who is probing corruption allegations against CBI chief Alok Verma and his deputy, informed the court.

"As soon as the matter was brought to my notice, we recovered all the items," Mr Dagar said.

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Eight mobile phones, an iPad and a hard disk were attached during searches at officer Devender Kumar's home on October 20. But the seizure memo mentions only one mobile phone which was kept in a sealed cover, Satish Dagar said.

Devender Kumar's son informed Mr Dagar on Thursday and the items were recovered a day later from the Technical and Forensic Search unit of the CBI which analyses data seized by the agency.

Banwari Lal, assistant programmer, told Satish Dagar's team that he was given a mobile phone by the previous investigating officer on October 20. "The team handed the rest of the articles on October 22, but the envelopes weren't sealed. They were closed using cello tape," Banwari Lal said in his statement.

The court was informed about the alleged gap on a day when Mr Bassi challenged in the Supreme Court his transfer to Port Blair through an order signed by interim CBI chief M Nageswar Rao on October 24. The order directed him to "join his new place of posting with immediate effect in public interest".

"They have been misleading the court. I want a case of theft and extortion to be filed against AK Bassi and his team for hiding facts from court," Devender Kumar's lawyer argued in the court.

"The chain is complete and the facts are now against them," said CBI sources suggesting that Banwari Lal's statement may spell trouble for AK Bassi and his team.

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