Top Court Orders Protection For Man Who Accused CBI No 2 Of Bribery

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Satish Sana in his petition told the court that he feared for his life

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court today asked the police to give adequate security to Hyderabad-based businessman Satish Sana who has accused CBI's Number 2 officer Rakesh Asthana of bribe-taking but rejected his request to put a freeze on the investigative agency's summons against him.

The top court also turned down Mr Sana's demand to record his statement before retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik who it has appointed to oversee a time-bound vigilance inquiry against exiled CBI chief Alok Verma.

"You claim to be a whistle-blower and apprehend for your life. We will give you protection," Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said while hearing Mr Sana's petition. Attorney General KK Venugopal, the government's seniormost lawyer, told the court that the businessman would be given "proper protection."

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In his petition, Mr Sana told the court that he feared for his life and sought police protection till the time the inquiry against Mr Asthana is completed.

The businessman, in his statement to the CBI, had said that he had paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to Mr Asthana to be spared from any action in an investigation linked to meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

The money was paid over a 10-month period – starting from December 2017, he had said.

Based on the statement, the CBI had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Rakesh Asthana that led to the widening of rift between Mr Verma and Mr Asthana, the special director of the CBI.

Last week, both officers were sent on forced leave and M Nageswar Rao was appointed interim CBI chief in a post-midnight "coup" that was challenged by Mr Verma in the Supreme Court.

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