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Rakesh Asthana's tenure in CBI curtailed

Rakesh Asthana
Rakesh Asthana
The Government has curtailed the tenure of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Director Rakesh Asthana and three other officers working in the agency.
 
The other three officers are Mr. Arun Kumar Sharma, Joint Director, Manish Kumar Sinha, DIG, and Jayant J Naiknavare, SP.
 
Asthana and Sharma belong to the Gujarat cadre of the Indian Police Service (IPS) while Sinha belongs to the Andhra Pradesh cadre and Naiknavare to the Maharashtra cadre.
 
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of DOPT/AV Division for curtailment of tenure of following IPS officers working in CSI in the rank of Special Director/Joint Director/DIG/SP, with immediate effect:
a. Shri Rakesh Asthana, IPS (GJ:84), Special Director, CSI;
b. Shri Arun Kumar Sharma, IPS (GJ:87), Joint Director, CBI;
c. Shri Manish Kumar Sinha, IPS (AP:2000), DIG, CBI; and
d. Shri Jayant J. Naiknavare, IPS(MH:2004), SP/HoB, CBI," a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
 
Today's decision comes days after the Delhi High Court on January 11 dismissed a petition by Asthana seeking the quashing of a quashing of a first information report (FIR) filed against him by the CBI in a bribery case, and called for speedy investigations in the matter.
 
In his order, Judge Najmi Waziri said the grounds of malafides of then CBI Director Alok Verma in registering the FIR against Asthana were not made out.
 
"Nor can the allegations against the petitioner be conclusively ruled out at this stage. In view of the above, the petitions are dismissed," he said.
 
The judge also vacated the interim order dated October 23 granting protection to Asthana against criminal proceedings.
 
"In the interest of justice, the investigations must come to an end as soon as practicable. In the circumstances, the CBI is directed to conclude the investigations in ten weeks from today," the order had said.
 
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The charges against Asthana and the allegations levelled by him against Verma had led to an unprecedented rift at the top in the country's premier investigation agency. The Government intervened by sending both officers on indefinite leave in October but the Supreme Court reinstated Verma earlier this month. Two days later, the Government transferred him out of the CBI, following which Verma resigned from the service.
 
Asthana had pleaded for quashing of the FIR against him on the ground that it fell foul of the statutory bar under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act which requires prior sanction/permission from the Government of India before registration of the FIR and that it was actuated by malice of Verma against him.
 
The FIR was registered on the complaint of a businessman Satish Babu (Sana) who was being investigated by the CBI in a case. He alleged harassment by the investigating officer of that case, demand of illegal gratification and extortion by the latter.
 
He alleged that he was promised, through two persons, Dubai-based brothers Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad, that the harassment would cease if he paid a bribe of Rs. 5 crore. He alleged the brothers had made the promise on the basis of a telephone conversation they had in his presence with Asthana. He claimed he had paid Rs. 1 crore to an identified person in Dubai and later Rs. 1.90 crore to another person in Delhi. He was told later that instructions were given by Asthana that his case be looked into. He also alleged that he did not get any relief from the harassment despite paying out nearly Rs 3 crore. When he complained of this to Manoj, he was told that this was happening due to non-payment of the balance amount of Rs. 2 crore.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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